Hornillos Del Camino to Fromista.
“There are things we will never see, unless we walk to them”
As we left Hornillos this morning the trail very soon began winding its way uphill, taking us slowly but surely to the summit and a walk that spread before us as far as the eye could see.
The scenery on the Camino has varied significantly as we have progressed along, from the lush green undulations of Navarra, through the endless vineyards of Rioja to the wide open spaces of Castilla y Leon. The Maseta, as this section of the walk is called, is a sweeping, exposed open trail which leaves the traveller completely at the mercy of the elements. When the temperature soars, there is virtually no shade; when the winds blow and the rain falls, there is little shelter to offer respite. On this section of the way, you are at the mercy of the elements. Luckily for us, the last two days have been as lovely as ever, with warm sunshine that never becomes oppressive but instead provides reassurance to the weary pilgrim that all is well and the final destination will soon be reached.
Another thing that occurred to me today as I wandered, contentedly contemplating my navel (Carolyn was listening to music) was that it is not always wise to seek too many opinions prior to experiencing something first hand. I was curious to read of people’s Camino exploits, both good and bad, before setting off. One that stuck in my mind was an article entitled “Why the Camino Sucks”. In this, the author, who I naturally assumed has walked the route, warned all potential peregrinos that they could forget repeatedly following meandering trails through the countryside. The Camino, in actual fact, contained large sections which take you through towns and villages, dodging traffic and weaving in and out of the irate local population. Why anyone would suggest this is beyond me. So far, our route has been at least 80% countryside. Every day the views lift your spirits. Walking through the plethora of villages has been a delight: they are idyllic havens which serve as welcoming interludes for the slaking of thirst and resting of feet. Northern Spain is a truly wonderful part of the world.
On that note, the final 5km of today’s walk took us along the side of the Canal de Castilla, slightly stony underfoot, but wonderfully picturesque, the water almost completely still save for the rings being created by the fish. Sharks, actually. I definitely caught sight of a Spanish hammerhead. I know my dangerous water dwellers. Deal with that, Attenborough.
I think Carolyn has, dare I say it, rediscovered her mojo. For parts of today we were flying like really fast things that can fly. Like I said before, I have taught a generation of children who aren’t children any more to speak and write brilliant.
Beer has never tasted so good. I’d hate to think I’m drinking it every day and not enjoying it. I haven’t yet poured it into my water bottle, so everything remains peachy and civilised. My wife has just choked on her sangria.
Today’s album track is “Closer” by Kings of León. Carolyn’s choice (AGAIN). Because, slowly but surely, we’re getting there.
Hasta manana, mis amigos!