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Monday, 4 July 2016

Early day and we are in Catalan

Yesterday's final comment became a reality today as we awoke, or at least I did, with the aches and soreness after yesterday's long hot walk. Today's 23K stretch from Lleide to El Palau d' Anglesola started at 7.00am when we left our hotel and started the customary long journey through yet another awakening city. This can be the boring section as you make your way along traffic filled roads and go through industrial zones.  After approximately 6K we had made the small town of Alcoletge and encountered a common problem on this Camino. The directional arrows stop at the edge of towns and will start again somewhere at the opposite side of the town and this happened here. We found it difficult to pick up the arrows and ended up on the wrong path but walking in the right general direction. Breakfast was a croissant with a bottle of water walking along pleasant country lanes and life doesn't get any better than this. Walking in the direction of the rising sun our path soon crossed the official one and we were back on track following the orange arrows. The orange arrows led us along paths that ran parallel to the motorway but yet surrounded by fruit trees of apples and pears. We crossed the railway tracks and entered the town of Bell-local d' Urgell where we found a pleasant little cafe. We had reached the half way point in today's walk and relaxed as we enjoyed a refreshing drink but all to soon it was time to pick up the backpack and find our way out of town and on to the right path. On our way out of the town we were entertained by a local information system that broadcast through loud speakers set high up on walls and told the local inhabitants what was going to happen that day. The second half of today's walk was warm and hot as we travelled along stone paths with the now frequent abundant fruit trees but little shade from the burning sun. Sheltering under a bridge in order to get reprieve from the sun whilst at the same time enjoying a bottle of water soon became something to look forward to as we strode closer to our finish. Passing the hamlet of Sidamon we knew that we were in the last 5k which as usual seemed to stretch to about 8K. The church spire of our destination, El Palau d' Anglesola , appeared to be quite close but again as in Camino tradition it took us about an hour to get there. The first cafe got our custom as we plunked down for refreshing drinks and slices of pizza. We are staying tonight in the Pension, Sant Antoni, which is excellent and we are looking forward to our first night in Catalonia and sampling some local food and drink.

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