Camino del Norte Day 24: Piñeres to La Isla

Today was a gorgeous day with lots of dirt paths and sea views. The weather was clear and sunny, though the 30+km day did drag on a bit and we didn’t arrive until around 5pm. The albergue at La Isla is outside of town, but you have to pass by the house of Angelita in town to pay and get your credencial stamped. When we approached Angelita’s house, she started shaking her head and gave us the answer that every pilgrim hates to hear “Está complete” (It’s full.)  We were so tired and very disappointed, especially since we knew that some of the pilgrims had only walked 12 km from the last town in order to stay near the beach in La Isla.

Angelita told us there was only one bed left, but she had already called a pension in the next town that was coming to get two other ladies (who were at the same albergue as us last night) to take them to a €30 room, so she kind of tried to hustle us into the car as well.  I asked her if we could sleep on the floor, she said no. I asked if we could share the one remaining bed, she said no. I asked if we could pitch our tent in the yard, and she said no.

So we went back down to the beach to regroup and decided our best option was probably to camp. We could rinse off at the outdoor showers by the beach and try to find a stealthy spot to sleep. We kept seeing pilgrim friends walking down to the beach and they all told us that there was plenty of space in the albergue, including mats to put down on the floor. So we decided to go see the albergue and see if we might be able to sleep there after all. When we arrived, there were at least two empty beds, five mats against the wall and plenty of floor space, as well as a nice green yard perfect for camping. We felt kind of bad to be defying Angelitas orders, but we were also frustrated that she was so unhelpful to us.

So we took showers, cooked up some soup for dinner, and had a nice evening with the other pilgrims. Angelita came to check in on everyone in the evening, but she didn’t seem to recognize us or notice anything amiss. We thought we might sleep outside, but there were two beds free next to each other so we slept great!