Bad news and good news. The good news is I managed, after many emails, to snag a booking in a hotel that is a 15th century stone monastery that saves 20 rooms for pilgrims. http://www.hsanmartinpinario.com/ I started emailing for a reservation for two nights but they were full. Twice a day I would send an email since many pilgrims book three nights when they start their pilgrimage. Then when the get closer they are more certain of which night they will arrive and cancel the other one or two nights. After two or three days I realized I was asking a lot for two nights so I switched tactics and started asking for one night. Once that was booked then I asked for an extension. And it worked.
This is good because the bad news is I got bitten by bed bugs last night! I had originally booked into an albergue in the centre of town, paid and then walked into the dormitory and it was dirty, all the bottom bunks were taken, the beds had been banged around, some were wired together. I just knew bed bugs lived there so I turned around, got my money back and found a much nicer one. It was part hotel/ part albergue. A typical size hotel room had two sets of bunk beds. Clean, new, everything in working order but I woke up with about a dozen bites. I told the front desk and they pulled the ‘you could have got them two days ago’ routine. Yes, that is true but what they aren’t getting is if I got the bites somewhere else, chances are I have left them a gift.
I have learned to be pretty careful with my containment and defence system. My clothes which I had just washed and dried in a dryer (dryer heat kills bedbugs) are put in a net bag which is then put in a light weight waterproof bag so there is no way bugs can get in (or out). I put my clothes for the next day in another water-tight/bug-tight bag. Likewise my down throw and silk bag liner have their own bags. So everything is contained. Nether-the-less, when I arrived in Padrón, everything went into the dryer again. I will do the same tomorrow.
Tonight I am the only guest in a new albergue but I have learned that looks can be deceiving. Plus, it dawned on me that if I am the only guests and if there are any bedbugs here they will all be heading for my bed! They come out at night and run for cover in the light. So my plan is to keep the light on.
Today was only 19 or 20k but I was exhausted coming into town. I bought a bag of deep fried dough and sugar and luckily ran into Jane, from Toronto, who helped me finish them. We arranged to get together for dinner with Roz and I stumbled off to my albergue where I slept solidly for two hours.
It turns out Roz, from Aussie, is an Irish Hammond too. She is also an actress and has had other Aussies recognize her. I told her I had a distant cousin who was an actor and a Hammond too. He played the oldest (or was it the youngest) son in the Sound of Music. Roz was excited ‘I know Nicholas!’. Apparently he lives in Australia now and not LA.
Roz and Jane stay in hotels, smaller ones with character. They probably don’t have to worry about bed bugs.
As we were having a pre-dinner drink, up came Nico and Janna from Germany. They had caught up to me with a couple of 30k days. It was good to see them as I enjoy their company.
It is 25k to Santiago but I have decided to break it into two days so that I won’t be exhausted. I will go 10k tomorrow and the reminder on Thursday.
I was hoping to surprise Diny who is finishing the Camino Frances on Thursday but she has figured it out.
Distance travelled: 19k but it felt like 29!
Weather: Cool, morning mist, then sun.
Lessons learned: sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite!
Food: café con leche x4, pastries, pastries, pastries and a tuna salad.
Health: coughing, sniffling, itchy. Oh and a little blister on top of a little toe.