After a nice vegetarian paella dinner with interesting people from Denmark, Korea and D.C., we went upstairs to begin the long dark of albergue nights. “Mas vino por favor” does not prepare you what happens next in a dormitory of ten pilgrims.
Despite my eyeshades and earplugs, the cacophony ensues and is unstoppable. Imagine trying to sleep in a cave with ten grizzly bears who have nasal congestion. The rattling of giant uvulas against the pharynx makes for a rhythmic resonating rumble that sometimes hesitates a few seconds before erupting into a cough and gasp that is quite nearly heart stopping for all concerned. This is not sleep but rather horizontal dark endurance testing. Reliably though, morning always arrives eventually, and Kathleen nicely asks how did I sleep. Really? I’m just glad it’s finally time for coffee and that I’m another day further away from that Burgos cathedral. Fortunately, I have negotiated for alternate nights in Casa Rural Hostals which have a private room and therefore a solid nights sleep. Totally worth it.
More Meseta today and tomorrow, where the farm fields stretch across the horizon between the sleepy feudal villages clinging to the occasional river valleys for life. Our town tonight was once population 2000 and is now 200, a few of which are cows, and there is no store. And so after a 3 euro bottle of wine from the nearby restaurant, we’re ready for another day on the Camino.