I’ve been told (and am observing) that one of the many things that makes El Camino so special is the people that you meet.
2 of the people we are hiking with have to catch a bus to make it to their goal before their flight home. We have café con leche and bocadillos (sandwiches) with them in the shadow of a giant castle and then drop them at their bus (well, we find a bus and then that bus driver tells us where to go). I am sad to see them go, but also know that this is part of their journey. I don’t know that me from 5 or 10 years ago would have understood that in the same way.
We are mostly walking along the highway and most of our stops in the shade are under other freeways.
We stop a little earlier than expected in Trabadelo. A nice woman sitting in the shade points us towards El Albergue Parroquial, giving us a detailed history of the building and its owners who basically renovated it from scratch.
They are a lovely couple. We talk about the albergue and its renovations and El Camino. We sit and rest and do laundry. I do some translating for people who don’t speak Spanish.
As the evening winds down, we ask for a Coca Cola, which they happily bring to us. I ask them how much and they wave their hands. No charge. In Ecuador, la yapa (freebies?) are common if you can earn the respect of people. The other hikers are surprised and touched by this gesture and their generosity. Such is the way of El Camino, I suppose.