Würmla to Herzogenburg, 20Km
Clever Hotel, 69 euros
Last night’s Gerhard Burger guest house was really quite impressive, all things considered. I had my own two room apartment with a new wet room which actually worked and didn’t flood the place. I just had time to dash to the little shop next door to buy my dinner (a bread roll, jam doughnut and a can of beer) before it closed. This morning, Josef, the owner, made us both a decent breakfast and told me he gets a steady trickle of pilgrims, most of whom arrive quite late and without a booking. I wanted to tell him why that was but I let it go. I also never asked him why he couldn’t have supplied a cheap litre of body wash but the whole bill was only 42 euros so I departed fairly content.
It was a pleasant day’s walk across fields of wheat and corn and there were several busy hares attending to the crops. I’m starting to understand how this Camino works. On the approach to every settlement there is an information board explaining everything of interest to the pilgrim. It’s all in German, of course, but all I have to do is wave my iPhone across it and everything magically appears in English. Accommodation is listed if it exists with a contact telephone number. So, once you’ve had enough, you just reach for your telephone and tell them you’re on your way.
I was looking forward to staying with the Augustinian Canons at the Herzogenburg Abbey tonight and enjoying a second evening dinner of dry bread. I’m dutifully stamping my credentials so I would have qualified for a cell but it is full with refugees from the war. Instead I tried the telephone number on the information board but there was no answer. The good news is that I’m back in the real world and Booking.com is alive to my every need. After a couple of clicks I secured a bed for tonight and tomorrow while eating my cereal bar on a pilgrim bench among the poppies.
Also, I saw a person coming towards me on a path through the fields this morning. At first it was a blur in the distance but it turned out to be a young woman pushing a pram with a newborn baby inside. Things are looking up.