Days 2 and 3: Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz AND Castrojeriz to Fromista

I made a decision today, Sept. 12, 2019, aka Day 3 on the Camino. It was our longest day so far (big deal, we’ve been walking three days): 25km [15 miles]. We didn’t get to our lodging until 5:30 p.m. and I was frustrated because I had looked forward to having some down time between shower and dinner to write. Specifically, to write this blog. I was already a day behind, and I really wanted to post every day.

Wait just a dang minute. Sounds like stress to me. Felt like stress to me. Layer that on top of aching limbs, flaming feet, a drippy, sweaty face and still several miles to go before I’d see a rooftop, let alone the reception desk of our lodging—that’s when I made my decision.

Until I have more time to post, I will make this more of a travelogue of photographic highlights with captions. You’ll get the gist. The angst. The giggles. The scenery. Later, when I have time, like on a plane or back in the U.S. of A, I will write more. I’m keeping a list of FAQs such as, “Do you and Donna run out of things to talk about?” “Who were the people who earned your ‘service’ award for above and beyond acts of kindness?” “How do you go to the bathroom on the Camino?”

Heck. I just thought of something. If you, dear readers, have a question, post it as a comment and it will either be a quick reply or become a full-blown topic later on.

So bring on the pictures!

We start each morning with a selfie, but this morning, Wednesday, Sept. 11, we noticed our long shadows and decided to be creative. Those are not bell bottoms. it was perhaps 50 degrees and we donned our full rain gear in preparation for wind.
We had walked a 10K (6 miles) in extreme wind through amber waves of cut hay. Our walking notes showed an icon of a coffee cup at the 10K mark, which means there is a cafe in this village. Zoom in and see the bell tower of the church. This is soooo exciting as you walk and wonder what is around each corner. It was a steep downhill trail right here, but were so excited to see civilization ahead and know there was at least one coffee cup ahead.
Even cloister to that coffee cup and a good example of the yellow arrow that keeps us on the right track. Literally.
Just outside Castrojeriz, our destination for the day, we come upon these ruins from a convent.
Hontanas is where we had the cappuccino and Castrojeriz is where we would sleep. This story drew us into the walls of the ruins.
Turns out that volunteers still provide 12 beds for pilgrims who want to spend the night. No electricity, but a bed and shelter.
Donna took this picture of me reading messages left on a bulletin board by recent pilgrims who had stayed or visited here. The pink piggy bank is for donations. If you wanted to spend the night, it was free.
This is the board I was reading. Donna’s picture did not capture the tears that sprung when I read the catty-corner hanging note in the lower left quadrant of the bulletin board. Sometimes, the Spirit hits you on the Camino without warning.
After the convent ruins, we walked along the highway. (Not our favorite tundra.) See the Castle on the top of the mountain? NOT where we had to go for the night. Look left and down from the Castle. That was our town. The far end of town, I might add. See the church on right, at the “end” of the road? That’s where we hoped our hotel would be attached. Nope. Far end to the left. We are learning to control our excitement at the sight of buildings.

NOTE: It is 11 p.m. at the end of very long, hot, sweaty Day 3 and I didn’t get to post the pictures and comments from today. But I will.


Day 3: Castrojeriz to Fromista, Sept. 12, 2019

From the window of our hotel’s dining room we could see the trail that we would tackle the next morning. Uphill. Turns out it’s the highest point of the Meseta and it sure felt like it. Elevation gain was 1050 meters, and when we got to the first curve in the trail we thought we had reached the peak. Ha! Not even close. More trail stretched ahead and up, up, up. Finally, we celebrated at the top by leaving shells at a monument.

Huffing and puffing, we start our ascent.
Donna places shells at the top of the Meseta. See that solo mountain to the right in the background? The base of it, that’s from whence we came.
What goes up must go down. Our knee caps were talking to us on this one!
Old school luggage transfer. And going the wrong way to Santiago!
David from Ohio took this picture. David is not pictured.
On this longer day, we made two rest stops. The first at 10k after the above terrain, and then again about 7K later. We called this the Oasis because of the beautiful fruit trees, shade and friendly atmosphere. We ordered lemonade and got this: Kas. Sparkling lemonade and glasses with ice. Nectar of the Gods. Donna is holding the Kirlkland gluten free protein bar fragment that I brought from home.
The scenery changed dramatically as we followed the canal into Fromista. Ahhhhh, sombra. [Shade.]

We arrived in Fromista around 5:30 pm, which was late for us. Thankfully, our room included dinner, and we didn’t have to wait until 8 pm to eat. We reconnected with Amia and Joe from our first walking night, and met two women who live in Salzburg and are biking the Camino.

All caught up now!

7 Replies to “Days 2 and 3: Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz AND Castrojeriz to Fromista”

  1. That is a lovely idea to write when it works! Just don’t forget the details if you wait 30 days! I would like to request a picture of the place where you place my shell when you say a prayer for me. I think I put in a request for that before you left, but if I didn’t, Im putting one in now. Not enough shells? Take a pic of someone elses as I will never know the difference. With you in spirit!

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