Day 17: May 11, 2016

Destination: Castrojeriz 

Distance: 21 km

Time: 5:45 hours, 8:45am to 2:30pm

Terrain: More flat land but still rolling. So far the Meseta is beautiful but further distances between towns. Also. Mud. 

Weather: overcast then two showers in the afternoon. 

Total distance to date: 320km

People started getting up at 6 but we slept until after 7 and had breakfast with Alain and Juliette. Juliette is not walking the Camino so she stayed on to leave later and the rest of us shared our ride back into Hornillos. Erik and I bought some chocolate at the store and then started walking at 8:45. No matter how we start our morning, we always seem to start walking at the same time. 

It was 6km to the first town but we only stopped for a few minutes to eat a banana. The dirt road got VERY muddy and walking was difficult. We were all picking our way across the fields, with a pound of mud stuck to each shoe. We got through the worst of it and the trail became more gravelly and we made it to the next town, Hontanas, so we stopped for a cold drink and baño. Just as we were getting ready to leave, it started to rain so we went back into the bar to have a coffee and wait it out a bit. 15 minutes later it let up and we were back on the road.  We had two fairly heavy showers over the next few hours but eventually we got into a paved road and walked the rest of the way into Castrojeriz.  

My left Achilles has been bothering me for the last few days (shins are all better now) and I found that the uneven and slippery footing today exacerbated it. Erik’s knee is a little sore too. We were both glad it was only a 20km day. 

We got to our hotel and the lady couldn’t find our booking. I had proof on my iPhone (confirmation through booking.com) and so she gave us her last available room with had 2 rooms and 5 single beds. Bingo! Later we heard the same thing happened to another couple but they were turned away. 

We washed some clothes in the sink (it took 3 rinses to get the mud out of my pants), and dried them on the radiator. It’s the only time we are guaranteed to have dry clothes for the next day. Then we went out to explore the town. 

We ran into Carolyn who was trying to get a booking for Friday night. We haven’t had any luck with hotels returning our emails for Friday yet either so we went back to our hotel and the manager was able to successfully book us a room at the cool Monestary there. Expensive but awesome.  We are very relieved. Now we were free to find a bar and have a drink and a bag of chips and wait until dinner at 6:30. 

We like this little hotel with all of it’s cute nooks and crannies and we will eat he peregrino meal here tonight too. Alain and Juliette, and Chris and Sharon are staying here too. 

Tomorrow we have a long day – 25 km on sore legs – so we are hoping the weather turns around. The only thing I like about cooler rainy weather is that my pack is lighter because I’m wearing more of my clothes. Update: 90% chance of rain tomorrow. 

We plan to have an early night tonight. 

cloudy morning heading out
the trail got muddy. it was so much worse than this photo shows!
self explanatory pic
arriving in Hontanas at noon
the sun finally shows up
Reapplying Voltaren mid day
our route for the day
San Anton – ruins of ancient convent
one room of our “suite”

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