After our most excellent paella dinner with “mas vino, por favor”, we had a late morning start, actually we were the last pilgrims to depart. The plan was for a short day in hopes that John’s ankle strain would continue to improve.
With that thought in mind, we started our walk without a reservation for the night. To reserve or not to reserve is an ongoing question. On one hand, if you reserve ahead, there is no worry about finding a bed for the night. The problem is a reservation commits us to a certain number of miles which may either be too many or not enough. However, no reservation is a problem when we pull into town at 5:00 or 6:00 pm and hope to find an opening.
Today, in our continuing attempt to hit a happy medium, we left with no reservation but a plan to stop at 1:00 pm at a small town with a 25 bed albergue located in an old monastery. We arrived at 1:30 and a line of hot, sweaty pilgrims sat outside of the closed albergue.
The instructions told us to line our packs up and the door would open at 3:00. Since the next town was about six miles, we opted for the line up. By 3:00, there were more pilgrims than there were beds. Fortunately, the bedless were offered spots at the next village, complete with a car shuttle. Nice!
So we have spent our afternoon, washing clothes, chatting with the fellow pilgrims, and drinking our free wine that we picked up from the Monasterio Irache! What a country!