Early to bed, early to rise, in a land that only woke properly in the evenings. I had walked for weeks, and seldom seen a true night sky in that time. I had walked for miles, through Navarra, La Rioja, Castile, and now León, from the snowy Pyrenees to the arid plain; the variation in the landscape had petered out (though I was following James), the relief of walking a flat path at last replaced by the tedium of crossing a flat plain, hundreds of feet above sea level and with nothing on earth to see.
But the sky. My God, the sky.
It was cold. I stood, bare-foot, bare-legged, at the centre of a wooden O, a tiny world, between bed and bar and bathroom, and there was the great bowl of the sky curving above me, reaching down beyond me on every side, deep velvet blue spangled with countless stars, all of space layered thick in one dark illuminate dome.