The Way, Day 29

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[Before the Storm, San Martin]

Total Distance: 22.6 km
Total Time: 6.25h
Total Euro: 31/person
Route: San Martin to Astorga

Sometime after dark, a massive thunderstorm rolled through San Martin.  We could hear the thunder way off in the distance before bed and I made E promise that he would crawl into bed with me if it got too scary.  At some point it was so loud that I was literally jolted out of my sleep.  I expected E to come to my rescue at any moment, but he didn’t flinch or move a muscle for the remainder of the storm.  I guess I should have defined “scary,” before I made him promise anything.

We awoke in the morning and packed our things and enjoyed a breakfast of toast and coffee the size of our heads.  The toast was oddly satisfying and the coffee had us both well-wired for our walk.

We got to walk through some greenery today and our first stop was through an adorable town where they used to hold jousting tournaments.  We walked over a river swollen from the rain, through mini forests and wheat fields and up a bit of an incline.  Just outside of Astorga, we felt someone push between us yelling “Buen Camino!”. At first I was shocked by the audacity and then I realized it was our San Diegan friends.  We had a good laugh and walked the rest of the way into town with them.

They were staying at Hotel Gaudi, but we opted for the albergue St. Javier, just opposite the cathedral.  Once we claimed our beds, we collected our vouchers for a reduced menu de peregrino at the Hotel Gaudi (13 euro vs. 15).  We enjoyed a fantastic lunch and then went back to the albergue to clean up and do our chores.  By the time we finished, siesta was just about over, so we ventured out into the town for some supplies at the pharmacy and grocery store.

We settled onto the mattresses in the lounge area of the albergue for some quiet time and then enjoyed a light salad for dinner.  The kitchen is also quite nice, as are the other facilities.  The one problem I foresee is the fact that floors seem to be separated by just one layer of planks of wood.  The smells wafting up from the kitchen are great, but the sounds not so much.  Similarly, we can actually see up through the floorboards to the floor above us.  This may end up being more of a problem for E as he is on the top bunk.

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