Considering the amount of people on the trail the albergue was mostly empty. I had ten bunks in my room but only 4 of the 20 beds were occupied. They had put all the young people in a different room and I appeared to be in the geriatric section (obviously a clerical error.. I don’t look a day over 25). It was probably around 2am when I woke with my head stuck to the pillow. Many of the albergues have a kind of rubbery coating to the mattress and the pillows so they give you a disposable sheet and pillowcase. My pillowcase had managed to fall off and my band head had welded to the rubber. Likewise if the sheet falls off, bare skin on a rubber mattress makes for a very uncomfortable night.
I left the albergue as late as possible, I was planning to go slow so that Randy would catch up but managed to miss the last cafe on the way out of town. The hunt for caffeine made me up my pace and I had to walk approximately 5km before I got my first coffee of the day.
I hung around nursing my coffee and watching throngs of other pilgrims come and go until the cafe owner started to give me strange looks. My welcome outstayed, I wandered on toward Ribadiso and was pleasantly surprised to be alone as the trail left the roadside and meandered through a wooded area.
As I neared my destination the sky once again clouded over with the promise of rain but at least this time there was no accompanying thunder. As so often happens on this journey I completely lucked out and avoided getting soaked as the rain didn’t materialise. And suddenly the clouds parted, a ray of sunshine broke through and there was Randy! With animal-like endurance (you choose which animal) he had caught up and we celebrated with what can only be described as a tin of spaghetti plonked on a plate and served up as home cooked fayre. Team tortoise is back together and officially on the home straight!
40km to go.. two days. I suppose I should start looking for flights. This journey is nearly over and I’m hoping that something new is waiting just around the next corner. Time will tell.