So today is another short walk. The day started early, around 7pm. I skipped breakfast. I’m becoming a little suspicious of what I would actually be getting for a meal. Sometimes you pay over money in good faith, and you get absolute rubbish that’s not worth what you paid for. So I was very hungry by the time I walked into Villvante. I spied the ham and cheese croissant. I knew exactly what I wanted – freshly squeezed orange juice, ham and cheese croissant and café con leche. 

Interesting door in Villar de Mazarife
Hmm, I feel like steak tight now.
Breakfast stop.

Nerida was walking well, and I fell into pace with Maggie. We chatted about life, of opportunity, of loss. The plan had been for all to walk to Hospital de Orbigo together. But plans change at a moment’s notice. Nerida wanted to walk on. I said my goodbyes at Villvante and walked on. This is the way of the camino. You meet someone who could be the bestest friend in your life, and then suddenly you’re on your own again.

Hospital de Orbigo is a really cute town. The bridge is certainly very unique. In the flatlands on one side of the bridge, are structures to showcase jousting and other medieval tournaments. 

Medieval bridge at Hospital de Orbigo
Tiltyard

 

  
I met up with Monica, whom I met last night. And together we wanted to look for the albergue that was out of town. 
I said yesterday that I am walking at a snail’s pace. So in keeping with that theme, today I am staying at a wonderful albergue at Hospital de Orbigo. In fact, I think it is the bestest yet. Albergue Verde is very off the beaten track – by about 500 m – and it is worth every metre of it. There’s organic food, yoga, huge garden to sun yourself like a lizard, and free tea and coffee. The last is non existent on the camino. They also grow their own veg in their greenhouse to music. There’s a wonderful energy about the place, with Tibetan prayer flags.They even iron the sheets! Twice, Monica and I tried to register and they said, no, no, we are having breakfast, then lunch. They are so chilled. 

It’s such a welcoming, calming environment. Reminds me of Crystal Lodge in the Blue Mountains. Wonderful!

Besides, it’s the only place on the camino whose hosts understand five spice powder, ginger, garam masala, and Pu Er tea. The cook shops in a tiny Chinese grocery shop in Leon, and for specialty items, needs to go to Barcelona. Tonight’s dinner: Thai curry! Also, I’m looking forward to the yoga session this evening.

I love this place. It is one of my favourite days on the camino.

So far as we can tell, most pilgrims specifically come to look for this albergue. It is off the beaten track. There’s hardly any walk-ins. 

(NB. It is getting super busy on the camino. Not sure if it’s the whole thing or just this section, but Hospital is now almost fully booked. Our town yesterday was also fully booked such that some albergues had to pull out mattresses. Note to self: Chill. There’s no need to worry. Finish the day early, if needs be, and enjoy doing nothing. I don’t need to be anywhere but here.) 😊

Perfect albergue for a snail like me
  
Mincho really does look like this doll.
 
It’s a dog’s life.
 
I really love these dogs. They are so cute!
 
Yay! i did not fall out of the hammock.
 
Tibetan prayer flags
 
The view from the balconey