There's no Internet connection in this small town, so I will have to post this tomorrow.
First, I have to say I feel guilty about my previous post; I shouldn't have whined about the snorers. The reality is, many (half?) of all people snore, so it's up to the individual peregrina to take care of herself and carry earplugs. It was my own fault that I couldn't sleep the other night. I wasn't using both earplugs which is why I was disturbed by the snores.
Also, our "taxigreno cheaters" comments only apply to the able-bodied. Obviously, those who can't otherwise do the Camino should use taxi services, etc.
Next, I owe some thanks. To Minna Kim of Brooklyn Boulders - thank you! Minna recently sent over $900 to Global Fund for Women. That money was part of the climb-a-thon and bake sale money raised at the gym before we left for Spain. Minna did a huge amount of work in a very short amount of time - the bake sale was wonderful and she and her friends climbed the walls many times during the course of the evening. (Stephanie Chan, another Brooklyn Boulders lady, was the other half of the climb-a-thon team. I will unofficially thank her now for all her hard work and I'll officially thank her again after she has received the money from all the people who pledged - that money will go to GirlVentures.)
Our experience at Granon was wonderful. Ten peregrinos stayed the evening; we all lounged about playing card games and chess, reading books, talking with each other, etc. The atmosphere was warm and comforting; we felt as though we were welcome guests in someone's home. The hospitaleros prepared a delicious dinner for us, and they offered breakfast this morning. All of us slept comfortably on mattresses in the loft attic - it was cozy and warm (and I used two earplugs since the girls were right beside me all evening).
The Granon albergue is my favorite thus far. We had such a good time last night. Also, Franco, the quiet and kind peregrino from Germany, stayed at the albergue. We first met Franco in Pamplona. We thought he'd be a couple days ahead of us by now, but it turns out he took a day off near Logrono. It was a delight to see him again. He has a serenity about him...it's hard to put into words...he radiates peacefulness. That's the best I can do in terms of explaining his presence.
The living room in Granon - it's early in the morning, hence the dim light.
Sign by the kitchen in the Granon albergue...
The outside of the albergue...
We did NOT see any vineyards on our way to Tosantos today That was a change. We did see rolling hills, farmland, and old buildings, though. :)
From Granon, through Redecilla de Camino, Castildelgado, Viloria de la Rioja, Vilamayor del Rio, and Belorado...
We left Belorado (which has a lot of albergues and appears to be a popular stop) and carried on to Tosantos.
Our albergue for the evening...
This parish albergue is modeled after Granon. Mattresses on the floor, communal dinner and breakfast, donativo, etc. the major difference is ambiance. This one does not have the lovely living area of Granon. The hospitaleros are wonderful people and their welcome is sincere and gracious - the difference has to do with the structure of the building, not the people who run it. Many of the same people who stayed at Granon are here is evening, including Franco.
Time to get off the iPad and play cards with Sage. I'll post this first thing tomorrow morning (as soon as I find a place with WiFi).
---EDIT (later the same day) - Our evening in Tosantos was spectacular. Good dinner conversation in English, German and Spanish with Franco, a young German woman named Lena who just started her Camino three days ago in Logrono, a Spanish couple and their adult son, and the two Spanish hospitaleros. The Spanish woman traveling with her wife and son is named Rosa. She's an outgoing, warm mujer who has taken a liking to Alex and Sage. Rosa, her amiable husband and son have shared albergues with us for the past three evenings. They are only on the Camino for Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter). It's a shame we won't see them after this Sunday; it's been a real pleasure spending time with them. They're lovely people.
The girls are thriving in the multi-national atmosphere. They taught Lena how to play Go Fish and Lena taught them how to play a card game called "Mou" (or is it Maou...or Mow?). They love hearing Franco play the guitar and sing in German. They also enjoyed the Spaniards' rendition of two traditional Camino songs (which were sung during dinner) and they respectfully took part in a small prayer service after dinner in the simple yet lovely meditation room in the upstairs portion of the albergue. They are soaking it all up and loving every minute of it, as am I.
Martin Sheen slept in this Tosantos albergue while he was filming The Way.
The weather has been perfect. Overcast skies and cool breezes. Excellent for walking. The rain always waits until we are in our albergue for the evening before falling from the sky. We are much obliged.
My toenail is still attached to my toe. There was a small pus eruption a couple of days ago, but other than that, it's fine (meaning, it doesn't hurt and it's not infected). I did get a blister on the top of a different toe yesterday. It didn't bother me while I walked today, though. Unfortunately, we ran out of HikeGoo two days ago. We've been making do with Vaseline, which I don't think works as well as HikeGoo.
Both the girls's feet are fine. No blisters, hot spots, etc.
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