Last night in Castrojeriz I checked in and got room 207. One small window looking out at a wall ten feet away with zero air circulation. It was getting warmer by the minute. I walked back to the “ front desk “ aka the bar about a block away and tried to get a different room but that was not possible. Okay, get the laundry taken care of, shower and get out of the room. What a great idea … after walking thirteen miles in the sun let’s go for a walk.
I found a cafe and sat down to have a short beer. I’m tired and a bit hungry but nothing gets served until 8:00 so I walk back to the front desk. Gary from Connecticut is there and tells me that dinner in this place will start at 7:00. He invites me to join he and Margot. Nice people. I saw them today on the Camino and we walked together for about a mile before we found Candy and Don laying on some straw in the shadow of a tree. We stopped and chatted and Gary and Margot decided to stay and I went back to the Camino.
Broken record … it was hot, sun no shade just hard to enjoy it. But I get there and as previously covered, I have dinner with Gary and Margot. Margot wants to go to the organ concert at the church which starts at 8:00. In spite of our 7:00 pm dinner start time my food has not yet arrived. Margot leaves and Gary and I finish a very unforgettable dinner. Don and Candy walk in and we join them with the last of our wine as they order. I’m delaying my return to the inferno which is my room but at 9:30 it can’t be avoided any longer.
I try my best and finally get to sleep, I think it’s about 11:30. I wake up at 3:00 am because it’s so hot and there isn’t a wisp of air. I consider going downstairs to the “lobby” where I did see a sofa to try and sleep there but I give up on that idea. When I fell asleep I was in the process of writing the blog for Day 15. Wake at 3:00 am I complete the blog. I’m doing my best to edit the blog before I send it along and frankly I know I’m making mistakes but it’s not for a lack of effort.
I went back to sleep sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 am and woke at 8:30. I’m slow this morning … just can’t get focused. I skip the carb fest and pack and leave at 9:30. I did stop to get water before leaving the village. It will be needed. If you are reading the blog take a look at the photo of me in the blue jacket at the top of a very long hill. That hill was 1.2 miles from where I started today and I just did not remember that this little monster was early today. I stopped at the bottom and checked my iPhone to record the mileage for this climb. At the top it showed that the hill was 1.2 miles with a flight increase of 19 flights. I took a photo that will be posted. No one there to take the photo with me in it, but I’m sure you will see the connection. I forgot to mention that when I stepped on to the Camino at 9:30 this morning it was raining. A sun shower. I put on my backpack’s rain cover and stepped into the rain. It was really a nice change. I didn’t care about getting wet because I knew I would soon be dry again and soon thereafter soaking wet from the sweat. The hill took care of that.
At about the eight mile mark of today’s walk I finally reach a village with a place to sit and have something to eat. As I walk up to the patio I hear a voice call out to me, it’s Don from Massachusetts who is with Candy. I order an omelet and coffee, we chat a bit and they return to the Camino. Given their normal pace I know I will soon catch up with them. They are smart … they just go and stop whenever it suites them. I was correct. About two miles from there I catch them again. They are resting.
Don is a retired Lanscape Designer. He is just a few years younger than me and is in great shape and looks many years younger than he is. I noticed his backpack, it’s big. I ask him what it weighs and he estimated it to be about 25 pounds. I say no and everyone agrees. I carry a tiny digital scale. The contest is on and we weigh all of the backpacks, with water. Mine is 24.5 pounds, Candy’s is 22.4 pounds, Gary’s is a day pack at 13 pounds, Margot’s day pack is 10.3 and Don’s is … 32.7 pounds! Crazy.
I check in here in Fromista, took care of the laundry and a much needed shower and walked over to a little cafe that offers very basic food well before most others. Throw in that it’s Sunday and the choices are very limited. I order a salad and quickly return to the inferno … it’s about 7:30. As luck would have it my only window opens directly above another patio where a group of Spaniards are wrapping up their weekend. I only hope some of them have jobs so they just might leave soon. So here I am after a walk of 14.8 miles sitting in another incredibly hot room with no relief insight trying to go on line to see if I might at least find out what’s going on in the NFL’s first week.
One final note before I signoff, to those who have sent messages of encouragement and support or just an occasional comment about the blog … thank you. It’s very helpful and helps me get out of bed in the morning.
Good night and Buen Camino.
Miles today: 14.8
Miles to date: 200.3
Steps today: 38,695
Steps to date: 578,670
Flights total: 599