Bed bugs...mhm tasty?
Molinaseca to Cacabelos (21.4km)
Nothing overly exciting about the hike itself today. I was stalked by a weird Spaniard for three towns (he had offered me a lift in his car and I declined), thankfully the walk had many little towns along the way so i felt safe enough or I may have jumped on a bus to try and lose the guy. In Cacabelos their was a festival celebrating an alcoholic drink, it was something like beer mixed with juice or something, either way it didnt sound enticing but it did have the whole town out celebrating in full fiesta gear. The women were all dolled up in flamenco outfits and the guys, well, a number of them were wearing dresses too. I was on my way to meet up with the group when i got pulled into a bar by a rather enthusiastic bloke, i wont go into details but i made a quick escape. Somedays, all you can do is sit down with a glass of vino tinto and laugh.
Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo (9.5km)
Lazy day! Beautiful short hike into Villafrancra. We decided on a short one as Pete and Diana wanted to hike the Dragonte route tomorrow which involved three steep climbs of 500m. The albergue i stayed at, Ave Fenix, had rather lively characters running the joint. They were pissed off their clackers before lunch...i should have known then that staying elsewhere might have been a good idea...
Spent the afternoon doing my washing and lazying in the sun.
Villafranca del Bierzo to Ruitelan (21.3km)
When i woke up this morning i had a number of bites on my arms...-insert jaws theme song here-...mosquitoes? Fleas? Or bed bugs...
The hike today was rather boring along a main road, the sienda or pilgrims path could easily have been put alongside the river valcarce only 20m to the left but nooo they had to run it along the road. Mhmm gotta love those car fumes in the morning.
The albergue at Ruitelan was amazing! We hadnt intended on staying there, it was just that my feet said no more walking for the day. The beds were all up in the attic which had these awesome huge beams of wood and the hospitelerios cooked us a devine dinner and breakfast. The rule of the house was that no one was to be up before 6.30am, at this hour music would be played to awaken everyone. I love this rule! For some reason many pilgrims feel the need to set their alarms at 6am. I decided before starting i would not set my alarm at all and i havent needed too cause i wake up with the sound of others moving. I dont understand the rush. You get up at 6, bolt out the door, get to the next town by lunch and sit and do nothing all afternoon. Isnt it nicer to awaken naturally and spend the day enjoying your hike to the next spot? I understand in summer there is a need to rush because of the lack of beds (one of the reasons i was never going to do it in summer) but other than on the odd occaision this is not a problem in Spring.
As i was paying my bill after breakfast, the owner noticed me scratch my arm. I could see his alertness immediatly as he asked me whether i had received the bite at his albergue. I said no, i got it the night before. He asked where. I said Ave Fenix in Villafranca. He sighed...this conversation was looking ominous. He asked me to show him which bed i had slept in and after telling me to wash all my clothes, backpack and sleeping bag he began pulling apart the bed i had stayed in. I had new itches...i have got myself some bed bugs!!
(if anyone knows how to get rid of bed bugs i would very much appreciate you letting me know because i really dont fancy throwing out a $400 sleeping bag!)