Up early this morning for our walk to Guillena. We were on the road by 8 this morning. Should be a bit cooler than yesterday. Marisa had breakfast ready for us by 6:30 am: coffee, toast, cold cuts, juice etc etc. It was nice. Sat out in the patio which was quite cool – had to put on a long sleeved shirt and my scarf. Sat for a while, finishing coffee and checking our various sites. Marisa is relatively new at the hostel game and asked if we could please fill out a review online about her hostel on a Spanish site called Gonze.com. It took Mike a while because the site is all in Spanish but, again with some help from his Translate app to open an account, he was able to write a review in English. Mike liked it because it has a comprehensive list of albergues, and their costs, amenities and directions and includes all of the Caminos.
Back upstairs after breakfast, we did our last minute ablutions, packed, said good-bye to Marisa and were on the road by 8 sharp. Kept my long sleeved shirt and musar on until close to 10. We found it helpful to stop for 5 to 10 minutes every hour, especially when we found places to sit in the shade.
It was a comfortable walk today. Things that drew my attention: all morning, people on bicycles passed us, singly, in pairs, in groups of 3, 4 and more. Didn’t see as many coming the opposite way, towards us as we did going the same direction as us, towards Guillena; cotton fields, lots of them with cotton pods just bursting out of their pods and lots of cotton clumps on the road; masses of small, white snails firmly fastened to the stems of dried out grasses; beautiful landscapes.
Leaving Santiponce, we followed a paved road out of town for about 45 minutes. It had a bit of traffic (it was a Sunday so maybe not as busy as it would have been on a weekday with people headed to work) but not too bad. We walked facing traffic on the side and didn’t have any problems. Once out of town, we navigated through a major roundabout, under a dual carriageway, and then turned off.
The road we followed was gravel, straight as an arrow through the countryside with a few farms and initially, lots of empty, ploughed fields – enjoyed watching the birds swoop close to the ground, searching for….bugs? mice? Seeds? Not sure what kind of birds they were but they were fast – no, not swallows, they were bigger than that!
It was another hot day but we got to Guillena around noon, before the worst of the heat and promised each other to be on the road earlier, in the dark even, as tomorrow will be longer. We were on the road for 4 hours, 13.2 km, and were getting tired – looking for a cafe where we could sit and have a coffee or a cold drink and take the weight off. But, we went by our albergue, LUZ del Camino, so we stopped there first. Got checked in, dropped our packs and went in search of a meal. Went to the place recommended by Pilar, up the street, Bar Centro del Pensionar, which provides a pilgrim’s meal. However, from what we were able understand from the proprietor’s explanation was that on Sundays, they don’t have a Pilgrim’s meal, that we would have to order from the menu. We did, not really knowing what we were ordering but it turned out okay. The cerveza y limon was the best part.
Home for a snooze to find our Korean friend from the first day, checked into a room upstairs. It feels good to be back in an albergue. We are in a room with 4 beds but at the moment there’s only three of us here. The albergue has three floors: the bottom floor where we are, the second floor which has the kitchen and some more rooms with bunks (yes, the bunks are squeaky-it’s going to be an earplug kind of night I think), and the top floor is a big open deck where we washed and hung up our clothes after showering.