A mere 17 km walk today, but it did begin with a breathtaking climb, which was rewarded by a breathtaking view…….
Going up; the path stretching behind me as far as I could see …..
The sun shining, but a rather cruel wind, and my nose (I have a cold) encouraged to run by said wind…..
I had been walking with fellow pilgrim Charlotte from Cambridge, but told her to go ahead as, owing to my heart condition (pacemaker), hills have to be taken slowly and my heart treated with respect, I really, really do not want to end up a monument to a fallen pilgrim on the side of the Camino…
Up and up to Alto de Mostelares, where the view is surely worth the climb, it’s here we encountered snow underfoot…….
Here’s me threatening to throw a snow ball! The “hill” is 900 m above sea level and the landscape spreads out before one looking impossibly beautiful…..
And the great thing is for every up there is a down and the road stretched on before me…….
and over an ancient volcanic plain, you can see an old eruption site here in the distance.
On the downhill stretch I caught up with Charlotte, her difficulty with the downhills matching my difficulty with the uphills, she’s a knitter too so we chatted knitting; enough to make the eyes of any non-knitter glaze over.
And today the Way was humming with pilgrims, Irish, English, Japanese, all friendly and agreeable people to spend time with.
Charlotte is spending most nights in the Auberge’s, these mainly municipal buildings, often provide sleeping quarters in large dormitories, some having as many as fifty beds to a room. They are unisex, and most likely the beds are in the form of bunk beds, there are shared showers and loos, often a shared Kitchen where pilgrims can cook their own meals or sometimes an evening meal is provided. They are mainly run by volunteers. The cost for a bed is between 5€ and 10€ a night. Most restaurants and bars offer a 10€ pilgrims menu, this usually consists of 3 courses and as much wine as one can drink. I’ve now eaten several pilgrims menus and found them to be really delicious. Needless to say the municipal auberges don’t float my particular boat, for one thing, I fear my snoring might easily keep even the hearty gap-year pilgrims awake! So for me it’s small hostels, B&B’s, hotels and the like. As long as I have my own room, I’m happy.
Charlotte and I walked the morning together and on entering Boadilla del Camino, came across this, from a distance it looked all the world like an old gallows….
We had lunch at an auberge just next to where I am staying tonight. Being Easter it is the only place in the village serving food today, and was really humming with pilgrims. We ate in a well sheltered court yard in the sun, there was a lovely well-tended garden, and a sight to gladden anyone’s eye…
Unless I go back to the Auberge for supper tonight, there will be no dinner for me. I do have a secret stash of Chocolate in my carry bag, (what Bernard used to call the ’emergency rations’ and believe me he didn’t go anywhere without something to fall back on. So this evening I will be fine…..
Charlotte and I parted after lunch as she was walking in to Fromista which is another 5.8 km further on. A walk I shall do tomorrow plus some……..
Meanwhile I look around this sweet little village. My lodgings are right opposite the lovely Church of Santa Maria (XIV C). Complete with a splendid storks nest on the top of the tower….
Set in the square in front of the church is this fine medieval jurisdictional column complete with scallop shell motifs……..
Every village has seemed somewhat deserted today and I remember that it is Easter Saturday. Whatever your beliefs, there seems to be no doubt that this man, Jesus of Nazareth, existed and that he gave we humans a code to live by that surpasses all others……
There is also a historical acceptance that he was indeed put to death…….
I could not for the life of me think what the little, quiet, deserted, villages along the Way reminded me of. Anyone who has experienced the death of someone close to them would probably recognised this feeling. It felt like the day after the death of a dear one, when one is numb with grief and really can’t go forth and face the world. When ‘normal’ life is put on hold, as if it would be somehow obscene to make merry……..
I wish you all joy this Eastertide, love Susan x