Stage 24: Verdu to La Panadella

Stage 24 in the guidebook is one of the shortest, and Stage 25 one of the longest.  To redress the balance, I included the first 16 km of Stage 25 today.  Most of it was easy, but there were two hills where I had problems, taking wrong turnings into and out of Cervera, and wondering when the delightfully shady path up to La Panadella would stop going up.

One of the texts for today was Ecclesiastes 3, “For everything there is a time.”  The time for lunch was when I reached Cervera. I had seen the church tower when still 10 km away, but it kept disappearing behind a hill. By noon, I was sitting by a fountain near the church eating bread rolls, cheese slices and a mandarine. I had already completed Stage 24!

I thought I would stop at a bar in one of the little villages after lunch. But the only one I found seemed to be hosting a huge and happy lunch party, so I carried on.

La Panadella is a service station, apparently serving both the A2 and the N-II. I think I got there about 4:30 but failed to attract anyone’s attention for about 20 minutes. Should I try to order a snack now, or wait and have a proper meal at 8:00?  I decided on the latter, but at 7, being too hungry to work on the blog and not wanting to go to dinner in that state, I gave in and went back to my room for a couple of cereal bars.

There is a church in the service station, but no sign of life there. A small building next door was open – perhaps a Muslim prayer room.

Well, the dinner was worth waiting for. Asparagus (green) with a sauce, rabbit (which I was expecting) with snails (which I wasn’t), a peach, and a cup of expresso which may have been a mistake. Plus the best part of a bottle of wine.  I was expecting to pay as much for the meal as for my lodging, but it was only half as much. Is this the special deal for pilgrims?

Three days to go.