We had a pleasant walk to Almorex as the plains are giving way to rolling hills and scattered trees and large boulders. and all kinds of small colorful flowers are popping up through the bland winter soil to create lovely vistas.
In Almorex we visited the church of San Antonio to light a candle for a sick friend, before stopping for tea at very nice bar, The Dalton. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite warm enough today to sit outside. However, we got to spend some time with the friendly owner, Antonio, the owner, conversing about pilgrims, and the Chicago Bulls who we are both huge fans of. Before departing he gave us his card and told us to call him if we needed any assistance.
After Almorex, we were very much into the mountains with more difficult walking but wonderful after a few days on the plains. Still there were plenty of the beautiful blooming almond trees which only enhanced the mountain scenery.
The main Camino goes through San Martin de Valdeiglesias, but they have no albergue and the parish albergue of Church of Our Lady of the Ascension, and its Hospitalero Javier, came highly recommended by our favorite Innkeeper on Levante, Juan Ruiz of Casa Rural El Rincon del Infante back in La Villa de Don Fadrique a few days before Toledo.
Trudging into town after 27K we called the parish number and were welcomed 5 minutes later at the Church of Our Lady of the Ascension by Javier who clearly relishes serving pilgrims.
On these obscure Caminos with few or no other pilgrims, there is something special about getting the compassionate VIP treatment these folks provide. Actually this occurs on all Caminoso of course but perhaps the moments are enhanced when one is so alone. 19 days and we have neither seen nor heard of another pilgrim in the vicinity.
A wonderful stay. One of the better equipped albergues; thick towels, fresh real bed and top sheets and pillowcases, extra blankets, and comfy bunk beds. You don’t have to worry about getting a lower bunk on The Levante. Best of all is there was a washing machine saving us from the daily task of hand washing our clothes. The kitchen was well equipped. Plenty of tea, coffee, soap, etc..
Javier and his cute little dog, Chico, pointed us to Restaurante La Escalera, which provided a warm stove fire and a delicious Me˜ñu del Dia and good house wine.
Later we attended 7PM Mass. Walking back through the narrow walkways behind the church, kindly marked with Camino Cairns, we turned to enter our very private hidden albergue. We both noticed a light and above which awed us both. Our own private beautiful stained glass window depiction of Our Lady of The Ascension.