Saturday, 30th September.
This morning we walked to Astorga, the chocolate capital of
Spain! But somehow we didn't buy any chocolate. Considering that
we've each been eating about a block of chocolate per day, we don't
know exactly how we managed to leave Astorga empty-handed.
above: Santa Catalina de Somoza.
I took this photo after we checked in at the
refugio. It actually looked gloomier when we arrived!
We stopped at the road leading into the town. It looked like the
set of a horror movie. The sky was filled with ominous grey clouds,
the wind whipped around us, the flora looked half-dead, and there
was no movement in the town. We were having second thoughts about
staying in this ghost town. Alas the next town was a bit
it looked like it might belt down at any moment. So we found the
refugio and dumped our gear.
We had our credencials stamped at a bar on the other side of
town. (about fifty metres away) There was a girly poster on the
wall. I'm not sure if that's in keeping with the "spirit of the
Camino". We retreated to the refugio - there was bugger all to do
in this town. Looks like we'll be having a rip-roaring Saturday
Markus the German (he's a tall Aryan who is the only person on
the Camino to have a heavier pack than me!) was strutting around
in just his underpants after he had had his shower. (Inspired
by Underpants Man perhaps? Oh yeah, looks like we might have lost
those damn Frenchies!) Lolly the South African was there with her
mum (who told us off for being weary "I'm 64 years old and you don't
see me complaining!"). Lolly's mum had a moment of inspiration:
she whipped out her camera and took a photo of Markus in his
underwear! As the flash went off, we all went into hysterics.
Markus didn't know what to make of it. "If it was a younger lady,
I'd understand, but you!" he exclaimed.
I bumbled about the town, leaving the others at the refugio,
still laughing at Markus.
A few dogs intimidated me (hey they were big dogs...you
see the donkey in the photo above? Well that ain't no donkey, that's
one of the dogs!) while I was taking a photo, I discovered some
eucalypts growing in someone's backyard, and I climbed the bell
tower of the little church.
Dinnertime came, and we shuffled to the bar nextdoor, where
everyone else was. The bloke there only had soup, some cheese and
wine in stock. It was an end-of-month tax dodge or something.
We were heartbroken. And hungry. Oh well.
Uninspired, we returned to the refugio and eventually turned in
for the night.