I’m a little late getting away. The hosts come out and give a warm farewell to everyone.
The morning is misty and cool but I walk out of town beside Dominique and eventually pull away from her.
I hear a bunch of Irish come up behind and I say gidday. They say “another Aussie” and I reply “yeah, we’re like a rash all over the surface of the planet!” And they laugh themselves forward.
I pass them at Villambistia but it doesn’t take long for them to cruise by again. I stop at the next village for a tortilla and cafe americane. I continue the gluten experiment by having some bread.
Eventually the roads lead to Villafranca Montes de Orca and I’m feeling fairly tired. There’s a truck stop so I grab a coke and banana and have a rest. It’s too early for lunch but this is the last village for another 13 k.
I find a supermarket and grab chocolate, Aquarius and an apple. Then it’s a quick crossing of the very busy highway and past the church were they seem to be preparing for a big construction task complete with VIP viewing platform and then it’s uphill. I later discover they were lifting in the roof.
The path is very steep and rocky. Eventually it comes out on a road but this is steep and it goes on like this for about 3 k.
It starts to flatten out and then comes to a monument with picnic tables. There is a mass grave nearby, recently discovered, to do with the Spanish Civil War.
I stop because I’m sore all over and there is a long way still to go.
Immediately after there’s a very steep descent followed by an ascent and then sheer hell. An endless forest road that stretches on and on, broken only by the occasional passing pilgrim, a call to Ali and a pop-up stall where I buy a banana.
After two and a half hours the road splits and a sign says 2 k to the village so I pull up for a rest.
A German whippet pulls up complaining loudly about the endless trek then dumps her stuff to wander into the forest to relieve herself.
My right calf is getting cramps and I know that I can’t do the full distance I want to today. It’s going to take all my resolve just to get to the next village so I set off.
Princess goes sailing past soon after and I do the day-end shuffle broken only by a young guy coming the other way in a small people mover with a surfboard on top. A very incongruous site for rural Spain.
I make it to the Albergue which turns out to be a monastery.
I check in for 5 euro and dinner is another 7.50.
I meet Richard from England who is with older mate Peter and thay have walked from Belarado, 5k more than me. Richard mentions Noël Braun and I comment that I have met him and read his book about the Camino.
Mass is on at 6 and there is a special pilgrim blessing after.
The dinner is very filling and I’m absolutely stuffed on all counts so go to bed to lie down and journal.
I hope I’m feeling better tomorrow. I think I need some rest days and because of being so far behind I will be taking the bus from Burgos to Leon and then maybe to Astorga. I have to face up to the fact my body cannot keep up this pace.
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