We were watching a film of Marco performing Kung Fu manoeuvres with a stick. I was tired, but amused, impatient to collapse after ten hours on the road but, as ever, stricken by the need to be polite. This had been preceded by a film of his wife, Maria, spinning fireballs on the ends of chains. What would we be expected to watch next?

We had met her earlier that afternoon, about a kilometre outside Ribadesella, as she sat by the path with her two dogs, reading. Some fifteen minutes later we stood crammed into the top floor of her town house, having climbed down the steep slopes into the old port, and then, once through the side front door of an ancient house, up the six winding flights of stairs to the top and the promise of a self contained apartment, exclusively ours for two nights and a well earned rest day.

This was when we met Marco, who, unbeknownst to Marie had simultaneously rented the apartment to a group of three peregrinos, Andreas, a Berliner; Vanya, a Croatian and Claudia, an Austrian.

Marco had multiple enthusiasms, a lovely engaging manner, which with the frequent gentle interjections of ‘escuchar’ (listen) from Marie made for an interesting stay. ‘I live, err, I have lived in the mount tains four years, si, in a tent, teepee, si. The world, it has a big problem, the ecologia, si, si.’ He and Marie lived on the floor below with five dogs, five cats, and Marie’s Alzheimer suffering mother. ‘Is a circus.’

Some negotiations later everyone had somewhere to sleep, everyone had new friends, a meal was shared, wine was shared. Todos es bien.

This seemed to be following a developing theme: some days earlier as we wound our way towards the peregrino albergue through the backstreets of San Vicente, a lady leaning out of a second floor window shouted down ‘are you looking for the albergue? It is closed. But I can take you to an apartment we have for peregrinos. I will take you by car – it is across town.’ All this in Spanish, and by me partially understood (a car??), but then, there we were squished into a car, driven by a mad driver, across two bridges and then lead up to a three bedroom apartment with glorious views across an estuary. We barely understood (this was available because the albergue was closed for redecoration), but thanked our host.

She returned an hour later with three other peregrinos – a merry band of Polish women. Two hours after that we were drinking their Bison Grass Vodka, which they considered an essential part of their packs. Tash dredged up a year’s worth of German schooling (the only linguistic connection), I mimed my way through some turgid comedy, and a great laugh was had by all.

As I keep on saying: it’s important to book ahead.