Camino Day 18: Hornillos Del Camino to Itero de Vega 31km

Today was another cool, almost cold morning at 7.30am. Perfectly still on the meseta, no clouds, no wind. Beautiful of course. A couple of predawn and sunrise pictures follow:

It was all meseta for the first 10km and then the town Hontanas appeared down in a valley.

A close up view of Hontanas.

There have been a few wrecked and deserted buildings along the Camino. This one in “downtown” Hontanas looked awesome in its destroyed state.

More meseta followed after Hontanas.

A interesting looking ruin appeared. You couldn’t tell what kind of building it once was. Or at least I couldn’t. And how the remains could be just this vertical “tower”.

The meseta despite all the noise was much pleasant to walk. Sure, there wasn’t much to look at along the way. But with a cool breeze and quite mild, it felt like an Australian summer without the heat.

Maybe the harsh reputation comes from Europeans who are not used to this kind of environment.

Or crossing it would be different in say July or August in the heat of summer.

The Camino then was part of the main road and the pilgrims were due to follow the instructions on this sign. Can you read and understand what it says?

Somebody must have had enough of Americans walking the Camino after inspiration from the movie.

The small settlement of San Anton had this extraordinary ruins of an old convent.

Just look at the size of this arch.

The San Anton ruins were impressive. You could walk around the complex and check it out further but time didn’t allow for it. We had planned for a 31km stint for today. Next time.

The town of Castrojeriz was soon visible. Note the ruins of the castle at the top of that hill. The views from there must be fantastic. The castle was not on the Camino so I didn’t get to explore up there.

As soon as I walked into Castrojeriz, I noticed this sales spiel.

Pay attention to the email address. Yes, it is an Australian email address. In fact, I use the same internet provider myself.

Wild speculation flourished of how a local con artist had sold this land to a stupid Aussie. Somebody who got carried away with the Camino and just had to own something. Maybe…

Because this is what the Aussie purchased. In a town, Castrojeriz, which has a reputation as the town that always sleeps. What would you do with it?

Tortilla lunch at this Castrojeriz establishment followed. Pleasant enough district views from that outdoor setting where we sat.

Leaving Castrojeriz… Hold on, the Camino doesn’t go up that hill, does it?

Yes it does indeed. In a 12% angle for more than 1km according to a sign along the way.

Once at the top of that hill, the views were of course lovely. There was this memorial for an unknown reason. It is often difficult to figure out why these things were they are. Also, so many have both graffiti and a variety of junk laid on top of them.

The ever present wind turbines in the distance.

Up there on the ridge, it was flat for a short little while.

There was a wooden signboard of sorts up there which had one more inscription after my visit. Sorry to say…

This Asian bloke was the first pilgrim that I have seen on the Camino who was carrying a child. As there isn’t enough to carry anyway and enough hardship to get to the next albergue.

I wondered what his story was…

What goes up must come down…

More meseta to conquer… I didn’t think it was over yet, did I?

I’m on the road to nowhere… Hold on, that wasn’t quite right. I’m on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Thank you very much.

Here, Puente Itaro marks the border between the Burgos province and the Palencia province.

Quite a lot of water under Puente Itaro which is so close to the meseta.

On the other side of the bridge and behind the water there was a tree plantation of sorts. I think that we may be exiting the meseta.

This sign on the other side of Puente Ivaro confirmed that we are now in yet another province of northern Spain.

There was this lovely stone monument dedicated to the Camino on the Palencia side.

I spent the night in a private almost upmarket albergue called Hogar de Peregrino. I shared a twin room with Win. No bed linen was provided so I had to use the sleeping bag but it was private and comfortable. Like somebody’s home.

I joined a group of peregrinos for a pub dinner. Well, almost like a pub dinner. I had a beef “schnitzel” with rice and veggies. First time that I had rice since arriving in Europe.

The sun set outside the pub as we left and provided this fantastic light. One of my favourite pictures from the whole Camino.

The night finished early with a cup of tea and we were all in bed by 9pm.

The 31km of meseta walking took its toll. Today was the first time since commencing walking the Camino that I have walked more than 30km in a day. I think that I have walked 29km in a day 4 times.

340km walked. 445km left to walk after Day 18

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