Thursday 11th April, on the road again

Trip Start Mar 23, 2013
Trip End May 05, 2013

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Where I stayed
A wet hostel

Flag of Spain  , Castille and León,
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Clementine is better so wants to go on.  My ankle is still awful, but I don't want to abuse the hospitality of the nuns and really do want to go on.  The nuns would come in and stroke Clementines hair, they loved having him and were sorry to see him go.  Sadly, I not being so young or beautiful anymore were not so loved......
Clementine treats me to a nice breakfast and we say our sad goodbyes.  I need to wait two hours, as I need pain-killers from the pharmacist.  I am not looking forward to being robbed, but have no choice!  Eventually the pharmacy opens, there is a nice lady who speaks good English.  She has walked the Camino and had the same tendón problems.  She fixes me up with 400mg Ibuprofen tablets that come with 30mgs codeine.  It seems very strong at 6 tabs a day, but hey ho my ankle bloody hurts!  I can say that the good name of pharmacists has been pretty much saved.
As I leave town its 17km to the next hostel.  Its all flat tracks and boring countryside.  Almost immediately it rains, and rains and rains.  I have never seen rain like it, coming in horizontally in the freezing wind.  Its so cold it stings the face and quickly my shoes fill, as its running down my legs.  There is no shelter from the rain and my ankle gets worse.  I go slower and slower until a French couple of middle aged woman stop to check on me.  One of them has a harness and pulls her bag on a trolley.  She offers to take my pack, but I know I will hold them up and they are as wet as I am.  I have to decline their kind offer, they think I am mad but go on.  I usually don't have many good words for the French garlic eating surrender monkeys, but this time I am incredibly touched.  If I ever insult the French again then please give me a slap.  It is hard to describe the spirit on the Camino, there are so many nations but in the end there is only humanity.
I finally arrive at one of the worst hostels on the route, you only stop there if like me you have no choice.  There is nowhere to dry out so wáter is running on the floor.  The warden is going up and down with a mop, but he is not winning.
I meet my two French ladies, they get up to greet me and are so pleased to see I am ok. I end up next to a 65 year old American lady, she walks with her 17 year old daughter that I thought was her granddaughter.  We talked and she admitted it was a lovely shock, but still a shock, to end up a mother again late in her forties.  They seem a funny pair, but I enjoy being with them as they are both a bit silly and very sweet.  They have adopted a sick young English guy, who feels unwell.  I suspect he has a bit of exposure, as all are wet and most travel far too light for this awful weather.  We make sure he is warm and has liquids, he is young and will soon recover. I then go down to the bar for refreshments, its the only bar in town, and owned by the hostel owner so it is also not that great. 
I am now consuming industrial quantities of Spain's finest pharmaceuticals, however they are not working so I rely on the good old fashion cure of refreshment by the pint.  After liberal self medication I return to sleep it off.  Unfortunately I am woken at 8 to be informed the restaurant is open.  I know I must eat, so go for dinner.  I have to be honest and say that with further liberal self medication it is all rather hazy now....
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