Monday, May 9, 2022

Day 16 - 8 May - Hornillos to Castrojeriz

As Electric Light Orchestra famously sang:

Sun is shinin' in the sky
There ain't a cloud in sight
It's stopped rainin' everybody's on the Way
And don't you know
It's a beautiful new day, hey hey

Parting is such sweet sorrow. We bade adios to La Casa del Abuelo and hit the road, after breakfast, at eight forty five. We had twelve miles ahead of us as we started out towards our destination for the night, Castrojeriz, where we had bunk beds in an eight- person dorm awaiting us.

We were now at the start of the Meseta section of the Camino, a part that some peregrinos choose to miss out on as, allegedly, it can be a monotonous few days in terms of scenery and en-route facilities. We shall see.

Monotonous scenery it certainly was not today. The six miles heading to the first town of Hontanas saw an initial gradual ascent to the high plains where, aided by the fine weather, we could see for miles in every direction. Our first stop of the day for coffee was at a modern albergue pretty much in the middle of nowhere, our second just a mile further on as we dropped down into the village of Hontanas.

We were already at the half way mark for today’s walk although with no more stops, save for improvised and picturesque stopping points, until our destination of Castrojeriz. The walking was easy, on a level path with English countryside to our left and Spanish terrain to our right. The approach into Castrojeriz was very different but equally spectacular as that into Hornillos yesterday. On a flat, straight road we could see the town in the distance, topped by the ruins of a castle on the hill overlooking the town. I hope this image can do it some justice;

And so to Albergue Orion, our home for the night. The elegant señora welcomed us with……a scouse accent! Yes, this was Sam from Liverpool who, along with the Spanish owner and his Korean wife, looked after us splendidly. The weather beautiful and very hot. We sat in the garden, drinking beer and chatting with other guests. Later, we enjoyed a Korean-inspired communal meal chatting variously with Manuela from Germany, James from Ireland, Daniel from the UK and Robert from Holland.

The red wine flowed and another Camino miracle happened. It transpires that I can now speak German! But first I need to take you back a few days when we last met up with Janna. I have no idea how the subject arose but Janna confirmed that the German word for sh*t is “Scheiße” (the weird letter is where we would normally use “ss” so think of “scheisse” pronounced like “shyster” but without the “t”). Then, last night, Carolyn was surprised to hear me use the word “doppelganger” which then led to a discussion of other German words we use in English including “kindergarten” and “poltergeist”. Just for good measure, Manuela added “rucksack” into the mix so now I can string a complete sentence together in German: “Look, there’s a doppelganger of a poltergeist with a rucksack in the kindergarten. Scheiße”! 

The Camino will provide! Tomorrow, I hope to become an expert in heliophysics.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you don't pack in, schadenfreude is a terrible feeling