Distance to go: 472.6 Kms
The thunder and lightning flashed and crashed on to 4am. I slept through most of it but the early morning air was thick and heavy. It was fresh but the moisture was all around. So at 06:15 we left the albergue and started to climb gently up onto the meseta once more. It was humid and we were soon hot and sweaty even though the gradients were not much to talk about.
After 11 Kms we dropped down into the small town of Hontanas passing a small structure housing the statue of Santa Brigida.
Here we took our first cup of tea of the day and a piece of cake. Even though the terrain was not that difficult today my right leg was niggling away and I had to nurse it a little. The fact that we had to walk through one stretch of track that was sticky and muddy did not help. Our boots got caked with mud adding another kilo to each foot. That was not pleasant walking at all.
The walk from Hontanas was so much better. The track snaked its way along the valley floor just off the road as was much kinder underfoot. The large expansive fields of wheat and barley gave way to trees and hedgerows and poppies and many species of birds where the meseta has skylarks and thats about it. Along this part of the trail we passed the long abandoned village of San Miguel until we came upon the most impressive ruins of the Convento de San Antón built in the 14th century. Here there is an albergue and we stopped to change socks and have a drink of water. The impressive Arco de San Antón spans the road and we passed under it.
From here the track follows the road all the way to Castrojeriz. This town is laid out in one long line at the foot of a hill upon which sits the ruins of an old castle. On entering the town the Church of Santa Maria dominates. It is magnificent. The pigeons seemed to love it too.
The walk through the town is uninteresting. The town seems to be another forgotten place along the Camino.
We arrived too early for our albergue was still closed. We met our friends Jimmy and Antoinette and the young American girls that we shared our room with last night in a bar/restaurant called El Lagar where the patron was most welcoming. There we spent the next 3 hours catching up on emails with the free wifi and letting our legs and feet recover.
Our albergue this evening is run by a very colourful character called Resti. He is very much larger than life but is a wonderful host.
Distance walked today: 22 Kms