As always we are glad to get out of the albergue. Too much chaos in the mornings and the chances of using the ablutions are zero. So we tend to hit the road running. We have become those people who start walking at six in the morning, and not just to get ahead of the field, but simply to get away.
It seems to be the best time of day as well, we are alone on the trail and at peace with the world.
After 5Ks we see a sign that wants to send us off the trail to Arroyo San Bol, our rule is normally not to deviate, but for some reason today we decide to go anyway. After 100 metres we come across a lovely little albergue of 24 beds. We could only get a simple breakfast of briochs and jam, but the coffee was good. Certainly those who had spent the night there seemed to have enjoyed it.
The followin 6Ks was all through cloying mud. We were passed by one girl who came to a halt when she reached a road crossing. She stopped to try and clean her boots and never got going again.
Being a bit more used to this mud stuff we searched out the long grass and managed to to lose most of the mud by the time we reached Hontanas.
We should have done the extra 11Ks yesterday and reached here. There were numerous alburgue and bars, all with Wifi and a range of foods.
Still they say experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want, and we got experience last night.
Then we are back to the meseta. All we had heard about it was rubbish, certainly for this time of year. The countryside is beautiful rolling hills topped with beautiful ruins. The fields are a riot of colours, with wildflowers decorating the countryside of every shade you could imagine. Of course the king amongst these flowers is the poppy, creating great swathes of red across the fields.
Halfway to our destination we pass through the ruins of the convent of San Juan. The road passes right through the middle. It must have been a formidable building in its time and we stop for a rest in the peace of its shadow.
As we approach Castrojeriz it looks a pretty little place and Viv cannot resist taking a few photos of the town. When we get into the town, though, it is a bit of a dissapointment, we see very few bars and albergues. There is a hostal as we enter, but we decide not to stop at the first place we see. We passed right through the town without seeing anything else, not even the place we had seen advertised along the camino.
At the top of the hill, just as we had given up hope and would have turned around, we saw a sign for Camino de Santiago Camping, Rooms por peregrinos. So we thought why not?
We got a double room in a house (by ourselves for now) for 30e. We had use of a washing machine and dryer, so at last we could clean our dirty clothes. Best of all they have a bar and food. I would not need much prompting to just stay here.
Later we were joined by a Quebec man and two Dutch girls in the house. The house was now full but it did not feel crowded like the albergue.
The sun was out at last and we have a litle sun trap in the corner of the buildings. At last a chance to sit in the sun with a beer. I could quite get used to this life.
We finished the night off with a paella, speciality of the house, shared with a Dutch crowd.