Today’s distance: 22.1 km
Total distance: 244.9 km.
Elevation gain: 413 metres
Weather: Cloudy/Sunny late afternoon; cool
Highlight: Freeing the “Camino” from litter
The Albergue S. Juan Bautista in Granon truly has the special Camino spirit of giving. Beatrice and Zilene were beginning their half month as hospitaleras (volunteers) the day I arrived. There were hugs and kisses upon arrival and the same upon departure. They were like old friends even though we had just met!
I was one of the first to arrive at the albergue yesterday and one of the last to leave this morning. When I left, I took one of the yellow bags that read: “Fill your ‘Camino’ with experiences and free it from litter.” I thought: “Why not?” I was happy to do my part at cleaning up the Camino for a day or even a few hours. The only problem is that once I got started, I couldn’t stop! (Is that typical of a Virgo?)
After I left Granon, I noticed a pilgrim ahead who had also stayed at the Iglesias S. Juan Bautista Albergue last night. He was busy filling one of those yellow bags for picking up litter, too, but he also had one of those handy-dandy, long handled picker-uppers. He came prepared!
How could I pick up litter without one of those gadgets? Bingo! I have a glove which could be easily washed out at the end of the day. I set to work picking up litter until my coffee break in Belorado, emptying my yellow bag at garbage cans along the route.
It was actually an excellent distraction since much of this day was spent walking alongside a major highway. Transport trucks were constantly zooming by. It is no tribute Saint Dominic who did so much to assist the pilgrim that today we are forced to travel closer to a major highway more than at any other stage of the journey so far.
I put my yellow bag away in Belorado when I had my mid-morning cafe con leche/boccadillo break, thinking I had done my share in cleaning up the Camino. Not so! Because I had been picking up litter for a couple of hours, I found myself noticing the litter more than ever. It was next to impossible to pass it by. So out came my yellow bag and my glove again. Could this be the theme of my Camino from here on in?
I am in Tosantos staying at the Los Arancones Albergue where there are 16 beds in one room for 10 Euros. It is connected to a bar where I had a complete meal (wine, water, soup, salad, salmon, and dessert) for 12 Euros. The waiter noticed sediment in my almost empty carafe of wine (no problem, I thought), but he brought me more even though I said I’d had enough. So now that I’ve had even more wine, how am I supposed to blog coherently now? “Coherently” is probably not the right word to use when you are writing, but you know what I mean.
The facilities here at Los Arancones are good, modern, and clean and they even supply things like shampoo, soap, deodorant, airfreshener, etc., practically unheard of in albergues.
Before dinner, I took a walk over to the unusual hermitage of Our Lady of the Crag which is built into the side of the cliffs overlooking the town. It is usually locked so what is inside is a mystery. I used my flashlight from my phone hoping it would provide a glimmer of light through the iron gate but I couldn’t see a thing.
Its high position on the cliff, however, offers a good view of the small village of Tosantos and the surrounding area.