Todays walk should be an easy one, mostly flat and staying close to the highway. Just before I leave at 8:30 AM another thunder storm erupts, major rain and thunder. When it rains with this intensity it generally does not last long. After 1/2 hour, it has stopped and the trek begins. It is uneventful, the Camino winds back and forth across the highway, putting the Camino mostly on what is referred to as "forest paths". It is very nice walking conditions, heavy cloud cover and short periods of intense rain. I have all the right gear (thanks to my wife) the handle wet conditions so I don't mind the rain, it is better than too hot. I am generally in awe of the landscape and its abundance. Every garden is bulging with ripening or ripe vegetables, orange trees burdened with their ripe fruit, lemon trees hanging heavy with lemons. Every cow has a calf, every mare has a colt, every ewe has a lamb, the country side has such an abundance of everything, no one should be wanting for food. It is flat easy walking, I marvel at the stone fences they are new to me, have not seen them anywhere else in Spain. They take a flat (2" thick) piece of slate about 40" long and place it a pre dug ditch so about 24-30" of the stone is upright out of the ditch. Stone after stone placed side by side for the length of the property. Their must be a slate quarry somewhere close because the stone fences are the norm. They would never rot, or need to be painted, very clever idea. The day wears on and in 3.5 hours town is in sight. I am just on the out skirts when I hear yelling behind me. Like yesterday when I missed the trail, the same kind of yelling, I turn around and its one of the girls from Slovakia. She and her friends are at the Albergue, and they want to thank me for the first aid kit yesterday. Her friends feet are so much better they want to keep walking, but do not know how much further the next Albergue is. They know I have a cell phone because I got a voice mail when we were walking yesterday. I sit outside the Albergue with them and google a site called "Gronze". It has been invaluable, as is shows each days route, gives distance's between town and shows lodging and prices for each stage. I help them find an Albergue 8K further, call and confirm that they have space. They are very grateful, we shake hands and I continue on. I somehow think I will meet these three again. Vilalba is a busy town with lots of shopping, all kinds of stores I have not seen before. Farm implements, chain saws, hardware stores, furniture stores, plumbing stores, clothing stores, all closed of course because its Sunday. I have great digs, it is a 4**** hotel Parador. I up grade myself for 20 euro a get a room in the castle, well worth the 20, king size bed, 42" flat screen TV, FULL size bath tub, living room, fireplace, SWEET. Plus it is in a real turret belonging to a Castle that has since fallen down. Never stayed in a Castle before, I somehow convince myself that I deserve it. I will sleep well tonight!
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