Saturday, September 7, 2013

You Expect Us To What?

Last night at the albergue in Hontanas was a fantastic experience - the Camino being family.  It was a great way to prepare for today's walk. Little did we know that we would need that inspiration.

                                      Arlene Wanted a Photo of Me - Por Que?

                                                           Asphalt Road Option

As we began our walk we found we had the option of waking the quiet asphalt road or the pilgrim trail which veered off and then paralleled the road. Having been warned about the muddy conditions on the trail from last night's rain by a young peregrino - we took the dry road option. Quiet - shady - this worked well for the first 5 kilometers of the day. 

                                              The Trail Joins The Asphalt - A Single Boot?

                                              In The Distance - Arco San Anton

                                                        San Anton Tau Cross

                                                        Ruins of San Anton

     When It Was Habitated -  The Town People Left Bread  In These Spaces For Peregrinos
                        
                          
                                  A Small Hostel Is All That Remains Here

                                                     Road Sign for Camino

As we approached this sign - two older women called out for us to wait - we paused as they approached - then they opened their hands and offered is of us some hard candies - the one smiling and showing that she had one in her mouth - two angels out of nowhere - a pleasant surprise.

                       The two angels offering more candy to a peregrino behind us

                                         The Possibility of What Is to Come

                                           Flat Asphalt Walking - What Is In The Distance?

                                                            Hilly Terrain

                                               Freshly Poured Oil Causes A Diversion

Our path was blocked by men pouring oil and laying fresh asphalt - luckily a slight detour through the field - over a block wall - through a narrow passage - got us back on track - no problem for a peregrino - even those with bikes made it through

                                                 Break Time - Coke and Potty

                                                         Bikers Gathering

                                            Castle Ruins Looming in The Distance

                                                        Nice Concrete Work

                                                         Castrojeriz Village

                                       Serious Renovation Here For Peregrinos

                                                               Town Square

                                              Notice How Clean The Streets Are

                                                             Fountain Square

                                                          Tourist Area?

                                                           Leaving Castrojeriz

                                                     Ancient Camino Way Mark 

                                              Heading Back to The Meseta

                                     Walking On An Old Roman Aqueduct?

                                      Sign Explaining The History of Walk Way

                 Looking Back You Can See The Ancient Blocks of Roman Wall

                               Modern Bridge Continues Walk Way Over River

                                                                 River Bed

                                               Modern Car Bridge Over River

                                               River Bed Has Seen Better Days

                            Nice And Flat Here - The Calm Before The Storm?

                                      Still Looking Good - Too Good To Be True

                                                            No Worry Here

     Then out of the blue - what is this- no way! A 12 degree inline for the next 1+ kilometers?
          
                                                   NO Way To Go But Up

                                                           Really? Yes Really


                                                     Finally - Almost To The Top


                                              Looking Down - No Quitters Here

                    View From The Top - It Only Takes Time and a LOT Of Effort

                                                      The Prize At The Top

                                 A Lot of Happy Peregrinos - Bikers and Walkers

                                     Resting in the Shade After a Valiant Effort

                                          Starting Out Again - Flat Meseta Now

                                             Team Photo By Monument - Happy Times 

                                      Remember the Meseta Is Dry and Hot

                                    Surprise - The Downhill is 18 Degrees Down!

                       Solid Concrete - Great for Bikes - Not So Great For Feet




                                                Time to Rock and Roll

                                                Sharp Edge Don't Fall Over

                                     Back to Flat Ground Lots of Bales of Hay

                                        Country Roads Final Trail - Almost

                                                  Crossing the River

                                                                      Rio Pisuerga



                                                      Getting Close To Itero

                                                        Itero Welcome Sign

                                                 2 Kilometers Left For Today

                                              Always Following the Yellow Arrows



                                              Albergue!     Time To Shower and Rest

Another 20 kilometer day - feet tired but no new blisters. That 12 degree hike up to the Meseta and the 18 degree walk down was challenging - but we made it along with a lot of other pilgrims. Feeling good right now. we arrived about 2:30 in the afternoon - showered - Arlene washed our clothes - drying now. Now to see if my Spanish is good enough to snag us a taxi for Saturday morning - we are hoping to be able to be in Leon by Saturday afternoon so we can celebrate Dale's 68th birthday on Sunday the 8th. We will see what happens - maybe a day or two of rest to mark the ocassion.

Special hello to Jason/Nisha - Ryan/Sandi/Matthew/Gaby/Zack
Buen Camino
Dale and Arlene