We found the cathedral when we first arrived in Sevilla and even got our first stamp and found the first shell in the pavement by the cathedral and a second shell on a building on Garcia de Vinuesa Street.
So this morning, when it was time to leave, we were ready and knew in exactly what direction to go. Said good-bye to another lovely hotel and off we went!
It was an auspicious start to our camino. Walking along the gravel path along the river, we met a woman walking toward us, smiling, full of enthusiasm. As she got closer and could see we were pilgrims she became so excited, wishing us a “buen camino” over and over, telling us she was starting tomorrow, took our picture, and promised we would soon see her! She strongly reminded us of another young woman on the Camino Frances, from Korea. There were many Koreans on the Camino Frances. She made us both feel happy and content, at home on the camino as we started walking another camino.
As we walked and talked, we agreed that our brains sure are tricky….trying to make us believe we’re too old….not in good enough shape….that we needed more time to get over jet lag….basically any and all reasons not to start today. But, once we got going, met the Korean woman (who I’m sure we’ll see again), got comfortable with our packs, accepted and returned the many “Buen Camino” wishes from passing pedestrians, cyclists and people on horseback, we were pleased not to have procrastinated any longer.
A lot of the walk today was getting out of the busy-ness of Seville. It was mostly on gravel and paved side roads. Entering Santiponce, we met a man on a bicycle who stopped to point out some useful directions to us, to wish us a Buen Camino and to ask where we were from. We were getting pretty tired and, since we hadn’t eaten yet, looked for a place to rest and eat. Found a cafe right away, ordered coffee and breakfast and breathed a sigh of relief. It was starting to get hot (91 degrees F) and we debated about staying in Santiponce or continuing on to Guillena. We were tired but also hot and didn’t want to overdo things on our first day out. We decided to try the Albergue Italica which a fellow peregrino had posted about on the FB VDLP group. When she posted a few days ago, she was the only one there. Today, they were fully booked.
We went right past the hostel and stopped in the hopes something might have changed – NOT! However, the hospitalera came out to help us find somewhere to stay in Santiponce. It was quite hilarious – she spoke no English and we struggled with our mediocre spanish. After some confusion and with the help of google translate, we finally landed at a wonderful private hostel, “Como en tu Casa.” Absolutely delightful place run by Marisa…a private room, spotlessly clean and comfortable. Marisa brought us up a plate of fresh fruit and had two big bottles of water ready for us. Even brought us a fan – didn’t have to use the AC!! Needless to say, we collapsed for a few hours, our plan being to visit the Roman Baths a 20 minute walk away.
Well, that didn’t work……the site was closed. We were disappointed because from outside the gates it looked like a very interesting site. Oh well, drowned our disappointment with a glass of wine while the sun set and the temperatures cooled. Off to the recommended tapas restaurant, Aldaki, which we discovered has only been open for about two weeks. We had the ensaladilla con Gambas al ajillo (potatoe salad with shrimp and garlic), an avocado salad with mozzarella and tomato and a sandwich with pork and French fries. It was the best meal we’ve had since arriving in Spain. We had so much fun with the wait staff trying to communicate, somewhat successfully, in Spanish.