We really enjoyed our stay at Roca Madre-- a private hostel run on a donation basis. Irene and Diego are doing a wonderful job of renovating an ancient farmhouse, complete with a typical panera storage loft. They served us generous amounts of healthy, home-grown food, a cold beer on arrival, hot showers, clean beds and bathroom, did a load of laundry for the group of guests, and Irene even gave us a tour of the panera. And when I learned that Irene was a forestry manager, we chatted away about trees, fires, and the tools of the trade. A wonderful stop. Highly recommended!
But then it was time to leave (after a breakfast that included their homemade jams) and hike 14 km to Salas. This was a gentle hike that led us past a number of springs and bridges used by generations of pilgrims on the way. We were in Salas just before noon, and took the afternoon off...allowing our clothes to dry, our muscles to recover, and our bodies to rehydrate...maybe with a little help from beer.
In Salas we're staying at a small hostal run by Nicholas, who's Dutch. Very nice, cozy, and good vegetarian food.
You might wonder what we eat at these hostels. Tonight's menu began with a consomme with fresh mushrooms, then a fresh spring roll, and then a curry stew with lots of veggies over a bed of lentils and rice. All the fresh bread we wanted, and both red and white wines (Jumilla and Rueda...both good). Dessert was strawberry and chocolate ice cream with a tiny bit of banana. All that for $15.