Day 19-October 1, 2017
Castrojeriz to Fromista, Spain
Waking up at 6:00 am and heading out the door by 6:30, I find myself in a fog and very chilly temperatures. I can see my breath. This makes the going a little slow. The uncomfortably low temperature and high humidity call for extra layers I didn’t recognize being required when I woke up. Now, the reality of the early morning brings me around faster than a slap in the face.
Walking in the dark and fog provides a comforting closeness with the path and nature. It is a good feeling and I are able to walk on at a brisk pace…..this may also have been a technique I used to try and warm up.
After walking for less than an hour, the trail suddenly turned upward. It became immediately apparent I would be climbing up one of the plateaus I had been admiring yesterday, and the day before. The path wasn’t extreme but was a constant challenge to my legs and lungs. I realized I was trying to keep the same pace I established on the flats. This obviously wasn’t going to work.
As I climbed higher and higher I emerged from the fog. Sunrise was probably a little less than a hour from happening, and the earliest light of day was simply magical. A multicolored band of light from deep blue to an orange illuminated the sea of fog below, and the top 20% of the plateaus. The “plateau islands” appeared to be floating over a tranquil, white sea. On the tops of the plateaus windmills generating electricity with lazy turns of their enormous blades. More than forty turning slowly, and methodically.
The path leveled off as abruptly as started and I was then presented an absolutely flat, table top landscape, barren of trees or features. Just a single pathway to follow. After a quarter mile or two I came to the opposite side an the roadway dipped and steeply fell into the valley below.
The fog on this side was less thick, and soon I was looking at blue sky. Time to strip all the layers I had been applying earlier. Eventually the temperature reached 65 degrees, but the direct sun felt very much hotter.
Stopping for breakfast around 10 o’clock, and another stop for a quick drink….. I ultimately found a way to continue.
The approach to Fromista is beside a man-made canal. It is relaxing to walk beside the water and the last mile melted away. As I enter the town of Fromista (pop. 800) a dam and waterfall are the features you are welcomed by.
The municipal Albergue is slightly off the path but such a welcome sight after 12 miles.
It is good to be off my feet……
Day 20-October 2, 2017
Fromista to Carrion de los Condes, Spain
When planning to walk the Camino you will undoubtedly be told though many sources the Route Frances can be done in 32 stages. (One stage = one day) Although this is fundamentally true I would like to say that time frame will be a complete injustice to myself and this wonderful country. By burning through the Camino you will not really experience this wonderful part of Spain. I planned 6 weeks which is much more appropriate. The downside is being away from Denise and family for such a long time.
My day begins at 7:00 am, and I are moving slowly. It is more than an hour before sunrise and my route today takes me beside a river for a third of the day.
The mornings are increasingly cool and the layers are hard to judge. But this morning it was 55. I simply wore my shirt and shorts and it didn’t take long after the sunrise for the temperature to hit 68.
The day is absolutely clear but a cool breeze every once in a while felt good. When walking the shade I definitely need a sweater, but the sunshine I am starting to sweat. This, it seems to me, is a great way to catch a cold.
Something quite odd has occurred to me on the Camino. I have developed magnetic feet. Despite wearing thick Merino wool socks and ankle high walking boots, small stones get into my boots. I have to stop every so often to empty my boots of these tiny irritants.
The destination today is a Monastery run by Nuns……. let’s talk rustic beauty… let’s talk “primitivo”…. let’s talk toilet, sink, and shower in the same 3′ by 5′ space……I’m looking forward to it!