after quickly passing through the tiny town of San Juan de Ortega we came to the slightly-less-tiny town of Agés — sporting nearly twice as man residents (a whopping 60 people!) and five times the lodging options (um, five — all albergues). we spent the last kilometer or two lagging behind a somewhat clique-y group of mostly French peregrinos and when we saw them heading into one of the private albergues on the main street we headed one door beyond and ended up in the municipal albergue. a middle-aged man and his wife ran the place and had pressed their teenage son into service behind the bar and in the dining room.
this albergue was the third we stayed in and the first run by a “municipality” — the church administered the first in Roncesvalles and the one in Zubiri was private. at the one in Agés, some 36 bunks occupied space above bar and dining room and, as usually occurred in the albergues, we had to leave our dusty boots at the door to minimize the amount of dirt we might track upstairs.
one perk to staying in albergues: our fee often included a menu de peregrino and, sometimes, an adequate breakfast. once we got our showers in and had our catchup naps we headed down to the bar for a beer and to wait until all the peregrinos filtered in for the day, the dinner count firmed up, and the patrons began serving dinner. after a brief, distracting stint inside where we caught our first glimpse of a telenovela centered around a military family and set in 1957. attention for that withered quickly and we headed outside to keep company with town dogs, wasps, and other peregrinos.
sitting outside, it became increasingly clear that the books downloaded on the Kindle went much faster than my somewhat hefty paperback (Wizard’s First Rule). my tendency to “dawdle” and write about the day in my journal certainly didn’t help my reading speed, either. but then, if I hadn’t done that, how could I look back and jog my memory about the day-to-day trivialities to share with all of you?