7 th Sept. A day of drama and good samaritains.

We left early from Siete Aguas heading for Requena about 24kms. The morning was fresh and we felt strong. It was uphill out of town and into the forest but not extreme. We walked through lots of grape vines, dark blue and white which were sweet and juicy. No birds here or the scare guns. By the time we reached El Robellar ( half way) Karen was faltering in the heat so decided to take the train to the next town. As it turned out there were only a couple of trains and the next was 6,00 pm!

Ever resourceful Karen had noticed a Dept. of Transport near the station and thought they might know of a bus. The guys checked if there was a bus but then shrugged their shoulders and told her to hop in the car because they would take her. It might be a days walk but it was 15 mins by car! How kind they were.

In the mean time we had pushed on through more vineyards laden with grapes of many varieties and started walking down by the river. There were signs indicating it was a flood prone area and soon we saw evidence of rubbish washed up against trees. I was focused on the quiet-hardly a bird sound at all. So different from the Australian countryside which always has birds galore even if it is just a crow.

As we stopped to rest Andy said he wasn’t feeling well( he had come down with a cold- not Covid, he tested) and would take it slowly. Very unusual for him who is always way ahead checking the route. I asked if he had any hydralite drinks that I had been encouraging Karen and Peter to drink but he hadn’t. He set off with us a bit behind him. It wasn’t much further along before we found him slumped by the river in the shade in a state of exhaustion unable to go on. We decided our best thing was to go into town ( now only 3kms) leave our packs and get a taxi to come back.

As we powered into town a fellow who had passed us going the opposite way on a fitness walk and wished us Buen Camino came up and proceeded to help us find the Albergue and organise a taxi. It was all done very quickly and we soon found Andy slumped again but a little closer than where we had left him. With relief we got him into the taxi and decided no hospital required at this stage.

In the midst of all this we discovered the Albergue wasn’t open and wouldn’t be until 5 pm so we found a hotel nearby which had a room. While Peter minded the bags outside the Albergue, Karen and I organised the hotel where our Good Samaritan and his taxi friend had dropped us while Andy lay slumped on the bench in the square. Once we got a room( thank goodness it had a lift!) we got Andy settled with some hydralite drink and went to collect Peter. Karen and I decided if he hadn’t started to recover after the hydralite we would take him to the hospital.

When I went to take off my boots I discovered that the sole was falling off! The prolonged storage of these boots and the heat had destroyed the glue I suppose. Now I needed a shoe repairer. Peter and I set off in search of one supposedly nearby only to find he was gone. I passed a shoe shop and went in to ask for help in finding one. The lady was very helpful but the nearest was in the next town! I looked around her shop and decided to buy a new pair. I had to do this when I walked the Via de la Plata and my boots turned out to be too small in the hot weather. This pair I brought were a generous size but hadn’t been used much. The new shoes don’t have ankle support but otherwise seem sturdy. They were a reasonable price.

After we all had a good rest and Andy had consumed a couple of litres of hydralite drinks he started to recover and felt up to a stroll around to find a place for dinner. I was starving! We ended up in a Chinese/Vietnamese run tapas bar where we enjoyed vegetarian samosas, spring rolls, potato bravas and I had fried baby squids and a beer! The whole energy in these towns is great after 6.00 when everyone comes out to sit in the squares having snacks and drinks and convivial conversations with their friends or shop. The kids are buzzing on their scooters and tricycles or just playing. I love this and think it is a great lifestyle. Things usually quieten down by about 9 when they have dinner.

Covid seems to be a thing of the past here, almost. Masks must be worn on public transport and the driver will insist, sometimes you see people wearing them shopping or serving in restaurants but it is not everyone, everywhere.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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