Tuesday, 19th September.
The day the rain came
We copped another snorer last night. And it was another
Brazilian! Before I started the Camino I thought I was a pretty
mean snorer, but these guys are showing me that I'm just a
pretender in the snoring stakes.
There was no escaping from this snorer. He was a big bloke,
and he was snoring flat out, line and length, not breaking stride.
Barb got the giggles, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.
After a while Barb got up and put her earplugs in, but they were no
match for this fella. We had endured about half-an-hour of his
grating snoring when I muttered something very Victor Meldrew-like
and jumped out of bed. I walked over to his bunk, and started
poking him in the side, hoping he would either roll over or wake up.
Stop snoring, at any rate.
He didn't respond to the prodding. I was poking him pretty hard,
too. So I shook his leg, again no result. There was no waking our
snorer. Dismayed, I returned to bed. After he'd been snoring for
an hour or so (non-stop!) he ceased.
It was cold when we started out this morning, and we could see
ominous grey clouds gathering on the horizon. Soon enough it
started to rain. The girls were wearing shorts, Dave and I had
trousers on. The girls had ponchos, Dave and I had waterproof
We stopped at a bar in a small village not long after. The
girls were freezing and drenched, and Dave's waterproof jacket wasn't
waterproof at all. I was fine. Although there was a little leak
in my backpack. Unlike the time I went hiking in Wales with a little
leek in my backpack. (boom boom!)
After a wretched walk we arrived in San Juan de Ortega - a two-bit
town if ever there were one. We didn't receive too warm a reception
at the refugio, and made our way to the stark dormitories.
There were only cold showers at the refugio, so we decided to go
without. The toilets reeked. I predicted that my nostrils would
be in for a battering tomorrow morning when I have my early morning
dump, because there's no way known I can hold my breath for that
We were bored. We ate lunch at the shitty bar next door,
then returned to the refugio for a siesta.
The rain subsided during the afternoon, and I ventured out into
the blustery streets (there were only two) of San Juan de Ortega to
see what I could find.
2 dogs, 2 water fountains, and a population of six. Including
the fat bastards that ran the local bar.
We tried sitting outside, but even when the sun was out it was
too cold for reclining in the delightful town of San Juan de
So we adjourned to the bar, where most of the people who had the
misfortune to be staying at the refugio could be found. There was
a small tv at the bar, and there was bullfighting on tv! Posing,
theatrics, blood. We felt sorry for the bull, getting softened up
by every man and his dog first of all, then some tiny-hipped
spaniard wearing tight pants would come out and finish him off. But
there was nothing else to do but watch.
A rumour had gone
around the refugio that there was soccer on at 8pm, and everyone was
excited at the prospect. But when we returned to the bar to eat
whatever slop they were serving up for dinner
and watch the game, they told us
that they wouldn't let us watch tv, because the game finished after
the refugio closed. And we wouldn't be allowed into the refugio
after it closes.
Glad they made that decision for us, since we
were all quite obviously incapable of taking responsibility for our
When it became apparent that there was going to be no soccer,
we ordered "dinner". "Chicos y chicas," the fat son said to us as
we waddled over to take our orders. Noelle had the temerity to
ask for something that wasn't on the menu: bread and some olive oil.
This was too much for Fat Boy, who said that if it wasn't on the
menu you couldn't have it. Despite the fact that all their
bocadillos (sandwiches) were quite obviously made with bread
and whatever filled the bocadillos was drenched with olive oil.
A diabolical end to a diabolical day.