I met Arturo today. He called my hotel at noon (I grumpily answered the phone from my deep, jet-lagged sleep) and we met for lunch at 14:00. Arturo is actually Artur and it turns out he’s not from Seville, but from Estonia where he’s a Lt Colonel in their army. He’s a scholar of medieval history and tells great jokes. As we were eating, a pilgrim couple (Dick and Annika) stopped at the table and visited. They’re from Netherlands and are on their 5th camino, each starting from their home.
Arturo gave me the scoop on this camino — he’d started in Meride and in Extramadura it’s not well marked and there are few pilgrims to follow. He’s been lost multiple times. Also he and Dick and Annika each had confrontations with big, scary dogs. Arturo carries a big stick to ward them off after being pushed down by one a couple of weeks back.
Artur was on his way to the next town and had amicably timed his arrival in Puebla for when I would be there. I planned, though, to spend another night at the modern and comfortable Parador, resting from the long trip. So he headed down the road at about 16:00. I hoped I’d meet up with him over the next few days.
Anyway. . . I planned to set off in the morning, most likely with Padornelo as my final destination, but possibly as far as Lubian. I planned to use my best doggy diplomacy on los perros, use my best Español on el itinerario (my iPhone camino app in Spanish that served as my only guidebook) and try to be super observant of las flechas amarillas (yellow arrows) so as not to get lost. After a tour of the historic sites of Puebla and its castle I headed back to the hotel to have my final rest before my first day’s walk.
And so, the adventure begins.