A short bus ride took us back to Venta de Santa Lucía to begin our walk.
Today was a short, but lonely and barren stage. We started at 8.30am and arrived in Bujaraloz at 2.30pm. With a stop for lunch factored in we are walking about 4 km per hour. My shins are still hurting — every step involves a dull pain — but a slower pace at the back of the group and 600 mg Ibruprofen tablets help.
As we have moved into the “third week” phase of our Spiritual Exercises (Jesus’s Passion) we have entered, fittingly, into a more desolate section of our pilgrimage. “Los Monegros,” Spain’s desert-like region, is hot, arid, and dusty. As we walked today we could imagine that we were walking with Jesus as he turned his face towards Jerusalem.
What I thought was a pretty basic truck stop — namely the Hostal El Español in Bujaraloz (population 1000) — turned out to serve the most magnificent cuisine. Today was Michael Bertie’s birthday and it will be one which I doubt that he will forget. There was so much food at the buffet dinner this evening I remarked that it was like I imagine the heavenly banquet will be. The staff were so welcoming and friendly. We had a wonderful evening.