Day 22 17th day walking

We thought we were out early, but the Dutch girls had already left and the guy from Quebec was downstairs. We did beat him out, although he managed to pass us further up the road.
We were mistaken about Castrojeriz, I thought we had reached the end when we arrived at the camp site, but there was much more the other side. It might have been nice to explore a bit, but then again we needed the rest.
As we came out there were so many vantage points, where the views over the surrounding country were stunning. Viv was non stop with the camera.
As we left town there was a long dry road ahead, but we could see the trail as it meandered up to Mostelares.The book says “Stiff climb up to Alto Mostelares” and it was. There was about 2Ks of lung burning climb before reaching an awe-inspiring point at the top. They had the good idea to build us a shelter where we stopped and ate a magdelena as our pre breakfast snack.
The walk across the top was a lot shorter than it looked in the book, then it was a very steep descent. It was paved with rough concrete and I worried that I would not get purchase with my poles. Fortunately it was rough enough, but never the less it put a strain on my knees.
We reached another point where a rest was needed and still we had not had coffee. As we rounded the bend there was a rest place with concrete benches and another enterprising soul with a flask of coffee. As he poured the coffee I asked “como tu llamas?” “Juan” he replied. I have now given him the name of St Juan of the Coffee.
We sat down and joined Jack a genial Irish man who we had met in Hontanas. he seems convinced that his sins are being washed away by all the suffering. He is unfazed by everything that is thrown at him on the Camino. Woken up at four in the morning by a bunch of Columbians, he merely said it was a good early start for him. I would have wanted tro kill them.
We crossed the beautiful bridge at Puente Fitero and passed another resting place. Many were stopped, taking off clothing as it was starting to get warm. We walked on and were accosted by a woman advertising a bar in the next village. “Hablas espanol?” she asked “un poco” I replied. It was like she had not had the chance to use her own language for years. I had a barrage of Spanish, good practice, but I am not sure I understood all she said.
Viv took this opportunity to divest herself of some clothing and as the pilgrim train had by now passed, the advertising lady returned to talk some more. I must say I quite enjoyed it, but we had to press on.
Further down the road we were accosted by Borrat on a bike. “English breakfast, very good” now I was interested. Viv said that I would be dissapointed, so we agreed to stop only if we passed it. We did pass it as Borrat was putting the sign outside, the photo of a cooked breakfast was too much to resist, so we went in.
Well, the bacon was a bit Spanish and the sausages were frankfurters, and I recieved a barrage of “I told you so” but I did not regret it. It was worth it for the greasy fried egg and the loading of protein.
We met a German guy and his wife who had spent the night here, they said they started the Camino in 2012. I said they must be slow walkers, but the wife had a knee injury and they had to stop, so they have returned for another try. We left them there and continued on our way.
At Boadillo we stopped at an albergue for a coffee and a rest. An hours walking is enough and it allows us to keep going if we rest frequently. As we were finishing our coffee we were joined once again by the German. After a short break we all had a stretching session before we moved on. We never saw his wife again, she was still to arrive when we left.
It was an uninteresting walk for the next couple of Kilometers, then we joined the canal de Castilla. I should have enjoyed this, as I am always in for a bit of canal bagging, but by now we had exceded our normal 20Ks and the wind was up.
My knee, which had recieved a pounding earlier, was now giving me jip and that was causing me to land awkwardly on my feet. I was trying not to complain but I was not now enjoying this.
When we reached the end of the canal by Fromista there was another rest stop, and I had to stop. There was a guy there advertising an albergue at Poblacion de campos “only 3 kilometers”, “sorry” I said “there is no way I could walk another 3 kilometers today”
In Fromista there was a positive festival of signs for hostals, alburgues and hotels, the first one that had its doors open we walked in. By the time we had been ushered upstairs and shown the room, the price was irrelevant. I was not going any further.
After we had showered and felt more human we came out for an ice cream, but it was too windy out so we did not linger long. We came back for more clothes before deciding to go looking for food.
On the way out of the hostel we were accosted by the patron “Tienes que visitar La Iglesia San Martin” she said. Not being big on churches we were not sure we must visit any, let alone San Martin, but we thought we had better make the effort.
The church was only a few yards down the road so we went in. At the door it said Iglasia San Pedro but we were in now so we had a look. Apart from the usual icons and grand alter there appeared to be nothing special about this one, so we resisted the urge to visit the Parocial Museum.
Further down the road we saw yet another church. It was romanesque in design and looked very old. Outside was a plaque with some details. It said that the church of San Martin was built in 1066. That was before the battle of Hastings. Inside was very simple but the construction and design were impressive. To think that this building has stood for nearly 1000 years, the mind boggles.
Inside we met a couple from Arizona who we first met at Ciruena at the golf club, a week ago. We just keep bumping into them. They were impressed that this place is older than their country.
We wanted something different to eat today, so we elected to have pizza. I am not sure we chose the best place though. We made our selection out of the freezer and I had to chase the bar woman around for some time to get a beer. I had to chase her around again to get another. On top of this the flies were making a meal of me.
At least it cost me less than two pilgrim menus and that included the beer.

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1 Comment

Filed under Camino de Santiago, Tango

One response to “Day 22 17th day walking

  1. Ralph

    Very interesting blogs…excellent material for a book for any aspiring catholic pilgrim or indeed anyone who enjoys masochistic experiences!

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