Once more we made a very early start to beat the heat. Andy is working hard to find the best parts of the walks between towns so we continue to move forward and Karen is not too long on her own. She has become a supreme support person, checking out the facilities , attractions and importantly – the bars! She is having some fun engaging with the locals who inevitably are friendly and helpful. Most of the bars are the centre of social life for all ages so they are lively places. Once people knew Karen was English they offered condolences for the Queen. Very touching.
Our walk took us through forest and valleys where we saw evidence of deer tracks in the dirt and heard them too but never actually saw them. We enjoyed the walk but the paths are wide so not much shade. We had a creek crossing just before town. This is not a route walked by many or not at this time of the year so w e have not met any other walkers or pilgrims the whole time.
Once into town at Villora, we met up with Karen at the only bar in town for refreshments before heading on to Monteagudo and our Casa Rural, Rincon de Sandra. We arrived and were greeted by the owner who said we couldn’t stay there but she had another house and so we put all our gear back in the car and followed her to the other house. Apparently the original place was booked out. We were happy with the second place but concluded it was the young couple’s home because there was food in the fridge and clothes in the wardrobe! It seems they had visited Australia a few years ago and I suspect their Casa rural funds there travel, judging by the magnets on the fridge. The place is spotless and comfortable. We are here for two nights so we quickly got all our washing out of the way, lunched on our various provisions and had a nap. Then it was time to find the bar for dinner and a shop to buy breakfast provisions. Our host had told us where the bar and the shop were. She told us you needed to press a buzzer to alert the shopkeeper who lived above the shop and she would open up for us. The bar we could find but the shop defeated us. We walked all around the hilly town with no luck. A woman walking her dog said she would show me. I went off with her leaving Karen to locate Andy. I found the shop and buzzer quite literally 5 mins from our accommodation. Now I had to find Andy and Karen. So I set off once again around the town. It is like a maze with different levels and winding streets. At one stage I wasn’t sure I could find my way home! Anyway I couldn’t locate my friends so I gave up and headed back. By now half the old people in town who are all sitting outside nattering were engaged with helping us find the shop. By the time I got back to it Andy was waiting for me because an old fellow had taken them to the shop and they had bought provisions. There was absolutely nothing to indicate it was the shop, bar the buzzer at the door! No advertisements, no signs.
It wasn’t much later that we headed to the restaurant for dinner. The owner had spent years in England and had returned as a grown man to make a restaurant in the family home after his parents had died. He went out of his way to make a delicious dinner for the three vegetarians and me. We have been so lucky. As we walked home the moon rose over the countryside and we all felt very glad to be here.