Walking for Water with Camino Jim- Day 20. At the Ritz


Day 20. At the Ritz.

As I said in yesterday’s blog it was about 9:00 pm when my room was so uncomfortable that I got dressed and went back downstairs to wait for the temperature to drop. I went downstairs and immediately felt the lower temperature. It felt like it was 20 degrees cooler and it was for one reason. There was a nice breeze coming from the front of the building and my room was on the opposite side completely blocked out from the cooling breeze. The luck of the draw, all part of the journey.
A little history about where I am staying tonight. On my first Camino I made a direction mistake just like the one I was in the process of making yesterday only in the opposite direction. Obviously I have an issue with this location. So on my first Camino I arrive in Bercianos and I’m in the wrong town and without a place to stay. I walk into the hostel and ask the young women at the bar if there is a room available… she goes into the back and returns with a much older women who tells me yes they have a room so I’m in.
I get to my room and take care of the laundry and clean up. Back downstairs and I order a small beer. I go outside and I take a seat on one of the plastic lawn chairs. The young girl who checked me in comes out and takes a seat at the same table to smoke a cigarette. She looks at me and has this grin on her face which I cannot ignore so I ask her what is funny? She then tells me that her mother thinks I am George Clooney. That’s funny.
So here I am five years later, I have a reservation this time and I walk in and I’m fairly sure it’s the same people but no one thinks I’m George Clooney, it must be the lack of the beard. Anyway I was thinking about that and so many other things which is easy when you walk for more than six hours and you don’t see another person. Robin was right I should have kept it in the book. I’m still not sure why I did not.
So here I am in Bercianos leaving at 8:30 am on my way to Mansilla. The guide book says today’s walk will be about 16 miles and as I remember it,…it will be along side a road for more than 13 miles with little water or anything else for that matter. With that in mind I pack up about 60 ounces of water which of course increases the weight of my backpack. I walked today for nearly six hours without seeing another pilgrim. I did see a number of bike pilgrims but they just do their own thing and most times I don’t think they even notice the walkers.
I find my hostel and when checking in I ask if there are any laundry options available and this turns into a YouTube quality video as I try to explain the laundry question. It looks like we are playing a game of charades and no one is winning. We finally figure it out and my laundry will soon be taken care of for 5 Euro. I head downstairs and as I’m there writing the early pieces of this blog, Don and Candy arrive looking for a room. We order a beer but there are no rooms available. The people here are on the phone looking for a place for them. They move on but I will see them for dinner, with Gary and Margot.
Dinner is good, I have my usual ensalada mixta. Everyone else has something more adventurous and they are all pleased with their selections. I’m now back at the hostel and it’s 9:45 and there isn’t a breath of air. Broken record… another hot night trying to get some sleep. I’m not liking the odds of winning. The good news is that tomorrow, Day 21 will be a short and easy walk into Leon.
Thanks again to all those sending messages, they really are helpful.
Good night. Buen Camino.
Miles today: 15.5
Miles to date: 257.8
Steps today: 38,787
Total steps to date: 724,066
Total flights to date: 615
Total donations to date: $33,490.40