Day 21 – Hornillas del Camino to Castrojeriz

Our gracious host at Hornillas convinced us to leave after breakfast, so we set out only at 7am this morning.

We have 19km to go and at 7am the sun is out. No clouds today!

We’re going to be crossing the great interior meseta (plateau) of the Iberian Peninsula, central Spain, for the next few days. This means walking on flat plateau and mildly descending into valleys where the villages are located.

In 10.4km, with almost nothing in between, we descend into beautiful Hontanas. There’s something charming about this village!

Parish church of the Immaculate Conception

Near the back of the church is this little altar with 16 people from around the world who’ve done/are doing their bit to make life for everyone better! Do you recognise all of them? Answers tomorrow.

After a coffee, we are back on the trail. We make our way out of the pretty village.

We hit the difficult meseta again! The sun is hot and there’s no shade in sight. We have another 9km to go.

Poppies grow anywhere

We solider on and around 11.30am we reach our Albergue La Rinconada. We’re early again, but the wonderful owner, let’s us wait in the yard while she finishes cleaning. At 12 noon she lets us in. It’s a new albergue and spotlessly clean. It’s just outside the old church of Santa Maria del Manzano, which is now a museum.

The common area

After our routine of washing etc we head to the restaurant across the road – El Jardin. There are Tintin prints there too.

Turns out the maker of these is a good friend of the owner of the restaurant and albergue.

We head out in the evening to see the church/ museum.

The paintings depict the 5 joyful mysteries
Loved the simplicity of the sculptures

After a quick visit to the supermercado (just one in the village and at the other end), we head back to get to bed as we have an early start tomorrow. We have 25 meseta km to cover tomorrow, to reach Formista.

Forgot to mention, there’s been an onslaught of Indians! We met Vinayaka yesterday (from Bombay). He is part of a larger group that is walking rather fast and meant to cover 30plus km. So as he passed us, he braked to a stop to talk. He lives in Spain – since 2017, has picked up a semi ruin sort of place, not sure exactly where, which he plans to turn into an albergue. He sounded excited about it. He’s walked shorter versions of the Camino five times.

Today we met a lovely Canadian Indian couple, whose grandparents were from Gujarat. They started at Logroño and hope to walk to Finnestra, a 100 odd km beyond Santiago. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of them in the coming weeks!

So it was a quiet walking day, filled with moments that were easy, moments that were challenging, beautiful landscapes, kind and thoughtful people, pops of colour, bleak patches…quite like our 26 years together. Today marks 26 years since John and I got engaged! So thankful for the life we’ve shared together!

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