Saturday, 29 June 2013

Day 29: Villafranca - La Faba

We had a fairly late start to the day, as we stopped for breakfast - bacon and eggs, coffee and orange juice, and all for just over €5. I generally hate eating before doing a few kilometres, but there was a long stretch over a fairly decent hill early on, and Connor and Jonas tend to mewl fairly loudly if they haven't been fed. 

Anyway the walk over the hill was great. A long climb up to the ridge that gave a great view over the bush fire raging on the hillside ahead of us, and then a descent through some old tracks that weren't particularly well signed - we did get a little lost for about ten minutes. Fortunately Rupert had bought his old Nokia which had a basic GPS and some Spanish maps, and we were soon back on track. We avoided the fires, and second breakfast / lunch in Trabadelo consisted of a large beer, ham and cheese bocadillo (baguette) and my new Camino discovery, something that is half-Magnum, half ice-cream sandwich (and made by Nestlé - not my client Unilever - oops). 

Jonas and Kim

Rupert, his old Nokia and an icecream
The walk to La Faba took us up the first part of the last large hill of my 1000km walk. As we climbed the ancient flagstones that took us steeply upwards, we discussed what the accommodation at La Faba would be like. On the map it appeared to have a spectacular setting, and we knew it was run by the German Cofraternity who had recently renovated the place.

Blurry photo of Rupert climbing up to La Faba
Our expectations were running high - and we weren't disappointed. The view over the valley was spectacular, and the albergue was immaculate: the shower heads were attached to the wall (a Camino rarity) and functioning without one of the dreaded push button taps. And the water pressure was excellent! Christophe (one of the German volunteers) was very excited about my camera, a Leica M6 ('ahh, ze M6 was the best of ze film cameras!') and we drank wine in the late afternoon sun as our laundry dried on the neatly arranged washing lines. In finest Teutonic fashion Christophe had asked us for all our laundry, warning us not to touch the machines ourselves. We dared not ask him what the consequences would be, partly because I'd exhausted all my non-WW2 German in my earlier conversation with him, and was down to phrases like 'for you the war is over' and 'you will be shot'. Not exactly the multicultural Europhile traveller image I wanted to project. We had a delicious supper with Jenny and Mark from Colorado, a couple we've been bumping into for the last few days, who have enjoyed / tolerated our high spirits and general mischief.

Oh yes - I almost forgot to mention that La Faba is exactly 100 miles out from Santiago, although I'm doing the extra 120km (75 miles) to Muxía via Finisterre. Phew!

Evening sun at La Faba