On December 23 after eating breakfast and finding out that I was not bitten by bedbugs at 8:00 am, I was on my way, leaving behind Leon, as well as Vlad and Katherina, who decided to spend Christmas in this city.

After 6.5 hours I was already in San Martin del Camino, and the only one interesting thing on the route this day were hobbits houses. In a fairly small town where we had to stay overnight, we found a shop, but unfortunately there was no kitchen in albergue, so we decided to have dinner. And it was definitely good choice! It was delicious. Although the Christmas Eve breakfast buffet was even more impressive. For only 5 euros we had eggs, toasts, coffee!, nutella and peanut butter. It was a very good start of a day.

I left at 8:20 a.m. after a full meal, which gave me a lot of energy and a very good mood. It was quite cold, but it was pleasant, and due to the fact that the route was not very interesting that day, I could spend more time thinking. And as I expected, the emotions associated with Christmas finally appeared. When I was a child, these days were „untouchable” for me for a long time. Free from all those undesirable elements of family life. Christmas Eve, which we were spending with grandparents, and which despite the tangible tension between all family members, were one of my favorite days of the year. And although last years it did not look like it was in this idyllic image from childhood, a wave of sadness reached me. One that carrying a lot of memories, smells and emotions. This time, however, I did not defend myself. I was aware that on this day I would talk to many people I had not had contact with for a month. I walked fairly quickly, because I did not know if the shops will be open.

I arrived to Astorga at 1:40 p.m. and immediately went to the supermarket. I bought wine and products for Christmas dinner, then I spent a moment in the park. Unfortunately, there was no way to buy any Polish products. So I decided to do … pasta! What a surprise. I decided to make a variation on the Alfredo sauce, with a can of sprats in oil. And I must admit that it was quite tasty. Although in the kitchen the Chinese were ruling that day. They prepared some quite fancy dishes, occupying the kitchen for quite a long time. In total, I spent the evening mainly with Asians, because apart from my friends from Korea, I met six Chinese people in albergue. In addition to me, Europe was represented by Remi from Belgium and a Spaniard whose name I unfortunately do not remember, but it was the only representative of the hosts. Jonny and Kristin from North America and Juan from Brazil, who appeared on the route on December 24th. In the following days we had the opportunity to get to know each other better. It turned out that it was not his first Christmas Eve outside the home, and he spent one of them in … Warsaw. Unfortunately, there was only this one day, actually evening, and the only place where it was possible to eat Christmas dinner was … kebab. Unfortunately. I told him to that he has to let me know if he ever has such interesting idea again.

The Christmas dinner itself was very cheerful, everyone brought food and wine, one bottle per head. The atmosphere quickly relaxed and carols appeared, first in English and later in other languages. Remi, who did not cook anything, made a fairly large, green “Christmas tree”, thanks to which all the food disappeared from the tables. At the end, the Spaniards came with a bag of sweets. It was a good Christmas Eve. Earlier, I talked to my relatives in Poland, checking if they had received gifts that I had ordered two weeks earlier. It’s good to be Santa. Even at a distance.