May 9th, 2018. Hontanas to Castrojeriz, Spain. Camino de Santiago.
An interesting day spent with interesting people.
It was a short walk – 12km (although a longer one coming on Thursday) – and it felt like a stroll. Although, with the people I met today, it seemed like the courageous (or downright crazy) were walking today. People with tablespoon size blisters or so tired they were just ready to drop at any moment. Funnily enough, I felt fit and spritely. Maybe it was the Queensland gentleman from yesterday who had inspired me? Or just great conversation…
I walked another day with Amanda which was great. We discovered the Ruins of San Anton which were really beautiful. Across the road from there was a true Camino Angel (his name) who showed pure pilgrim generosity, giving out watermelon to all who stopped at his bar for a much-needed rest, and lively conversation and general goofiness to anyone wishing to listen.
Once we reached the town off Castrojirez, we wandered through the church. It was set up more as a museum but the architecture was beautiful – plus it had gorgeous word work and stunning stone carvings.
After finding our Albergue – a great place that had single beds in spacious rooms, each with side tables! – Amanda and I spent a bit of time having a leisurely lunch (grilled prawns – such an indulgence!!). Then we proceeded to fight wifi for the next few hours just trying to make forward plans. No luck. Guess you can’t win them all. Spacious rooms/single beds vs wifi…. oh well.
Dinner was another yummy pilgrim meal – homemade bread, amazing hummus, a crisp salad, a generous serving of delicious paella (with seconds offered…) and homemade chocolate mousse, served with red wine as always. It was made even better with lively conversation and birthday celebrations for an Irish lass, Mary-Kate. Joining the table was her Mum, the crazy Maori girls (that I would get to know more in the coming days), another mad woman from Queensland, a sweet Malaysian woman, a few American men at the end of the table, Amanda and myself.. When the Albergue heard it was Mary-Kate’s birthday, they whipped together a cake for her, which was a lovely gesture I thought. And it was delicious too.
Yes, I may sound a bit obsessed with the meals offered on this journey, but the Camino is down to basics and when you receive something delicious and homemade, it’s all the more enjoyable after a long day of walking. You appreciate the efforts the communities go to for the Pilgrims walking through.
It’s just another day on the Camino. 😉
Where I Stayed: Albergue Rosalia / Pilgrim Hostel
Would I Recommend it? When an Albergue offers single beds and not bunks, it’s a winner! I shared a room with 6 people and it was spacious for everyone and their stuff. The communal (gender specific) showers were tough, with only a curtain between and ultimately a wet floor to deal with when changing, but the gender-neutral shower was amazing. (It was a single shower/toilet with a lock). The communal dinner with lovely too – a great spirited Camino event – and outside which was nice.