I asked Ernest the hospitalsro who had walked fhe Camino many times, whether he had any words of advice. 'Yes' he said ' try not to think!' He also mentioned that it would be difficult going back as there would be no more yellow arrows to follow.
After a hot coffee Tobias and I set off. We walked fast and were soon overtaking those that had left Granon much earlier and had been insane enough to wake up before 5am. He was good company hisEnglish was very good but I did enjoy correcting him when I got the chance, particularly when he went on about 'snorkelling'. It took me a out 5 mins to realise that he wasn't talking about his holidays in the Cayman islands but about snoring! Anyway, our conversations really did help me to forget about the incredible burning sensations in the soles of my feet and the fact that my legs felt like lead.
We were getting much closer to Burgos now and the countryside though beautiful, did not feel as remote as before. I noticed many more farming vehicles and more fields of yellow flowers which I though were rape seed, but on closer inspection was not so sure.
We stopped for a mid morning snack at Belorado. There was a young woman from Sweden there with her border collie dog. I had to get involved in conversation if only so that I could cuddle her lovely dog, that reminded me so much of Merlen whom I was pining for. Unfortunately Chico the dog had managed to get himself injured and his owner had to hang around until he recovered. His owner told me that she had not had any real problem finding albergues that accepted dogs. I was wishing I had taken Merlen with me, I was surprised by how much I missed him.
We carried on and started talking about typical German and English names. His partner was expecting their second child in September and was fond of the name Quentin. Tobias on the other hand was clearly not so sure.
It was much hotter than yesterday, about 25 degrees , but the cool wind made the walking more bare able.
We arrived in Villa Franca about 2 30pm I was relieved to see that it was an albergue a cut above the rest. The dormitory had a smal balcony looking out onto the hills and the lines of hanging washing drying in the sun. Great!
The albergue as it turned out used to be a hospital run by the knights Templar during the 1400s. Recently an enterprising business man bought the building and turned it into a wonderful hotel with an albergue for the Camino pilgrims. The name of the hotel is San Anton Abad. Yet again the pilgrim meal was stunning value. A three course meal with wine was 12 euros and a nights accommodation for 5 euros. The grounds were very pleasant too, with a wandering peacock.
Many Australians here for some reason and also bumped into some familiar faces, which is reassuring.