Today’s challenge was for 25.1k. We’ve done more than this distance before back where the terrain was much tougher, but it had been a couple of days and we were full of apprehension as we set out in the morning knowing our first challenge was less than a couple of kilometers ahead. We climbed over 400 feet in less than 2 kilometers (steep) and followed that in less than 1/2 a kilometer with a steep decline. The other 21 ish kilometers were much nicer to our knees. I would say flat like Florida, but definitely flat for Spain.
Today’s walk was after learning a little about the network of caves in Castrojeriz. Our hospitalero at the Ultrea Albergue provided a tour of the portion of tunnel under his Albuergue. Although sealed off from the network like many others during the Spanish Civil war for security reasons, we were able to see first century Roman stone arch and also gothic style arches in the storage area. After the tour, we toasted with the Palencia area’s Tempranillo wine.
Back to today….. We crossed into the Palencia region of Spain and we also got to enjoy an American-style breakfast while in Itero de la Vega about 13.6 k into our walk.
We took another break in Boadilla Del Camino. While in Boadilla Del Camino we enjoyed Coke Lights at Albergue en el Camino. If we hadn’t planned to take advantage of the day’s cooler weather, we would have stayed there. We thought the courtyard was spacious and inviting. They even have a pool. After our soft drinks, we visited la Iglesia Santa Maria. It is currently under significant renovation after numerous roof leaks almost caused the main nave to collapse.
We continued onto Fromista along the Castilla Canal. Options for Albergues began to pop up just after the locks and abandoned information booth. We walked on to the private Estrella Albergue. For 22 euros we got our bed, a pilgrim’s menu dinner and breakfast. On those pilgrim’s menus. It’s not always a deal. Sometimes you can get better and even cheaper food in town, but when an Albergue tells you there’s a fiesta….secure your food. You may head back out and find nothing open. On the other hand, we had a magnificent meal at the Meeting Point in Hornillos Del Camino. Laura cooked up an amazing vegetarian paella. I’m glad we didn’t pass that one up.
Back to today’s Albuergue…this was the second time in this entire trip where we almost missed getting a bed. I’m guessing that because so many pilgrims skip the meseta, the network isn’t as strong. Again, just my guess.
Tomorrow promises to be a warmer one, but thankfully not in the 90s or above. We have under 20k and expect to be at Carríon de Los Condes by noon. At that point, we will just be 404 kilometers from Santiago!