9:15pm – Estella
We strove into town like two c0nquering heroes today. We had been told Albergue Anfas was the place to go, and this place is amazing – it doubles as a hostel for pilgrims and a center for children who have mental handicaps, specifically down syndrome. The senora of the house had cold water and cherries for us as we fought our way into the albergues disco beads. The Senora shows us around the place, which is very spacious (over thirty sets of bunks) and implacably clean. There is a seperate room for bikes and dirty boots. I nap for a little while and then Tony shows up out of the shower wearing nothing but his small boxers.
Tony – We meet Tony in the town privious, Lorca. Mateo had seen a albergue where we might get a bit for lunch and to rest our feet. I shose it because it was playing good classical music. After a few moments of nibbling, Tony, a talkative Brit with a heavy Scouser accent, walks in. He, of course, knows we´re from the States and we begin to have a chat. He confesses to being a “Blue-nosed Evertonian”. Later we walk with him on the path from Lorca to Villatuerta. That this is his fourth camino in seven years, and he´s about to turn seventy, still amazes me., and that his “old lady at home” encourages him on these trips, this amazes me even more.
We parted at Villatuerta, where Mateo and I visit “Our Lady of the Assumption,” which is most impressive as they discovered XIIth century mosaics on the church walls a few years back while clean and have left them for all to see.
This evening Mateo and I explore the town of Estella, its churches and plazas, where Spaniards dance to live music. Many of these dancers are elderly Spanish women dancing with each other, and I sadly wonder what has happened to all their men. Little Spanish lads play their La Liga, often firing shots into crowds of tourist sipping on cafe con leche, or into the occasional mother with her troller. Little Spanish girls rider their scotters or rollerblades in the plaza as well.
We have our own cafe con leche in a small cafe around 5pm. It wasn´t crowded. Mateo talks about the dew on the beer taps and how it entices him to want a cana, but we stick with our cafes. For dinner we find a little plac with a pilgrim´s menu, and there we run into Robert.
Robert – We also met Robert in the same albergue in Lorca. He is French-Canadian, French being his main tongue, but speaks English with us just fine. Mateo order for us, as the waitress is thankful that he speaks Spanish. A gentleman, whom we saw panhandling for change in the plaza earlier, is playing the slot-machine, and he is being closely eyed by two very sleezy chaps sitting next to us. We are also joined by Jean-Deit(rich), a Dutch man, who has been biking from Holland, through Belgium, through France, and now west on the camino. He looks like Hemingway.
I grab the bottle from dinner, just in case the two gentlemen next to us at dinner are actually waiting for us. We make the albergue by curfew. Tony is there, telling us about the places on the road to Los Arcos that we need to see, including a monestary that makes its own wine, and at its gates has two taps for peregrinos : one for water and one for wine.
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