To preserve and house
old wine or tired pilgrims,
planning is required.
53°, partly cloudy, heading into rain
I left late today at 9:15 but by early afternoon, I reached Terradillos de los Templarios, a former stronghold with historical links to the Knights Templar and Jacques de Molay, the Grand Marshall of the order. This was the place where I was brought back to health last year with help from 5 Slovenian monks. It was a critical point in my last year's Camino and memories came rushing back instantly upon entering. It was here I remembered leaving one of mom's blue beads on the gate entrance and went to look. Nope, not there. Too much time had passed...
I stayed a while in the albergue restaurant before walking on to Moratinos, and after having run into Lisa from Germany. She was dismayed to find the albergue in Terradillos full so Jacqueline and I recommended she walk on with us to Moratinos to find a place to stay. Compared to last year, there seemed to be three times more pilgrims walking. It was now essential to book the night's lodging a day ahead. This limited the spontaneity and freedom to walk however far was comfortable, but allowed a more leisurely pace, since the next place I stayed knew I was coming. Regardless of any benefit, I wish booking..com didn't have such a hold on Pilgrims.
We all layered up and walked in pouring rain into a strong headwind. I leaned forward with head down, hardly looking up until standing next to the albergue in Moratinos. Nearby there was a circle of 500-year-old bodegas, some of which had caved in or were boarded up. There were a few still intact although all were locked, providing no entrance. I wondered if the locks still secured preserved wine or other provisions. I wandered around, wishing I had an umbrella, and looked through small, broken glass "windows" into dark chambers. I was curious why some still stood and others did not. Were they built at different times out of different materials by different people? Perhaps some were better designed than others and along with these factors accounted for the varying degrees of needed repair.
Drenched and cold, I headed for a cafe to warm up and to eat with other pilgrims. I sat around a long table with Jacqueline and Lisa and her friends, hearing mostly German. Lisa showed her gratitude for the Moratinos albergue recommendation by buying a round of delicious almond cake. In return, Jacqueline and I taught her the game of "Dead Face", taught to us by Sean from Australia. It's difficult to explain the game but the winner was the one who could keep from laughing the longest. Hard to do and fun to play. Laughter truly is contageous and knows no language!
I did learn one phrase in German today....nein schnarchen (no snoring), which will come in handy when staying in large albergues! Today, I was just grateful to have a bed in a warm place. Some were not so lucky.
I've passed the 1/2 way mark. Onward!