We now value shade more than water
The was a little bit of “hey, haven’t I walked this bit already” to today’s trail. It was still ridiculously sunny and shadeless. Fortunately, there is a breeze blowing most of the time which makes it bearable but the radiant heat from the sun is intense and omnipresent. In the rare spots where a building or a lonely lost tree cast a shadow, I’d bet that there is probably a 10C temperature difference.
The walk today was rarely in sight of the highway although we did cross it a few times. Also, one part at the end in farmland that was supposed to be close to it ended up not close at all because I took a wrong road. It was about 4km from the end and we just had our heads down and were plugging away. I think we were supposed to fork off on a smaller trail to the right but we just kept going. By the time I looked at the GPS, it was too late to turn around. We just plotted a new route into town that cost us an extra kilometer or so. I’m very glad we had the GPS tracks and the iPhone or we would have to be asking directions in French by now.
Two tricky bits about today’s walk, for those following us, is that yet again, the day’s path starts 1.6km from where it ended yesterday, near our hotel. You have to add that mileage to the published number. Also, it was 14.8km to the first place to stop for refreshment which is a long morning. We wanted to leave closer to sunrise but we had to have some nourishment first. Cafes only open at 7:30am in Lleida, which is early for this part of Spain. We’ll try again tomorrow. Note too, there is a restaurant and bar right on the Camino trail in the unpronounceable Bell.lloc d’Urgell. From the GPS, it looks like you skirt around the edge of the city but have faith. Just as it looks like you are turning away from any chance of food, you will see the lovely Vinyes del Mig on your left. If you do miss it, don’t worry. There are two large signs shortly after the bar that tell you to turn around.
I may regret saying this but a little rain tomorrow would be helpful. Mind you that I am only thinking of the farmers, of course.
There is only one place to stay in PdA which is the quaint Pensión Sant Antoni. When we arrived at 3:30pm, the place was open but not a soul to be found. We tried the bell at the front desk, the doorbell, calling up the steps, then finally, calling the phone number. Obviously I was disturbing the owners siesta but he was kind anyway. He spoke too quick for me to pick up anything except the important part “una momento”. Sure enough, a woman ran from the bar around the corner. She merrily gave us a key to a room and told us to shower and rest. I guess we’ll check in later.