HORNILLOS to CASTROJEREZ — 13.6 Miles
Last night I slept until midnight and was then wide awake until 4a.m. I knew it was supposed to rain today and that made me nervous. Around 2 a.m. I heard it start, rain falling steadily against the large skylight in the room. Now I had something to worry about. I’d have to get out all my rain gear, my shoes would get wet, I’d have to walk slowly, the path would be muddy and I’d get cold and wet.
By the time I woke up the rain had stopped, the sky was partly cloudy and it was 38 degrees. OK, I could do this. We went downstairs for breakfast and I was disappointed. It was cafe con leche, 2 pieces of toast and two croissants, with butter and jam — not my kind of meal. I had a few sips of coffee and some toast and was off.
It was so cold that I had to put on my fleece gloves and knitted headband. Dick walked with me for the first couple of blocks and then returned to the warmth of the hotel. The path started out with 3 miles of kind of steep uphill which was not good for me. Downhill rules but uphill kills me. The road was pretty muddy in parts but I was always able to walk around it.
Eventually the path leveled out, only to go downhill then uphill again.
I was walking at a pace that was way too fast and I knew I’d pay for it later. The last few miles of the path leveled out and followed a highway with a couple of interesting sites along the way.
Finally I could see Castrojerez in the distance but knew it was still about 2 miles away.
I stopped to take a rest break — my first of the day — when I received a text from Dick wanting to know where I was. He was still on the road, running some errands and I texted him that I would be in Castrojerez in about 30 minutes. Then when I read the text which had been auto corrected it said I’d be in “Castro Harry’s” in 30 minutes. I didn’t correct it because Castrojerez is pronounced “Castro Harry’s” in Spanish! I stopped at the side of the road and had a good laugh about it.
Just as I entered town I knew I was lost in terms of finding our hotel. This was a larger village with 900 inhabitants and it didn’t have just one main street. I walked on a little farther and then just stood in the middle of the little one land road wondering what I should do. A car was coming toward me so I moved off to the side and it started honking at me. And then I realized it was Dick! What perfect timing. They say the Camino “always provides.” I hopped in the car and we drove to the hotel which was only a couple of blocks away.
This place, the La Cachava Hotel was hundreds of years old and beautifully restored. Our room was again on the 3rd floor with 4 beds and an upstairs.
As soon as we got into the room I knew I needed to sit down — all my muscles were hurting because I had walked too far, too fast. And anyway Dick was eager to tell me about his adventures this morning.
And here’s what happened to Dick this morning after I left: I had asked him to do one simple thing — buy me a pair of reading glasses because mine had broken. Of course they didn’t have any in this little town so he planned to drive back to Burgos to get them. And that’s when the problems began. First of all he couldn’t find his car keys. After searching the entire room and other parts of the hostel he emptied out his backpack and found them at the bottom. Then he went out to the car and the battery was dead! So he asked the proprietor if he had any jumper cables. And of course he didn’t but he was kind enough to go up and down the street asking everyone in this 60 person town if they had any. No one did. Really? Really?? So the only solution was to call a mechanic. One and a half hours and 15 Euros later Dick was finally on his way to Burgos. More problems — he didn’t know what kind of store would sell reading glasses in Spain. He went to store after store, including pharmacies, but couldn’t find anyone who spoke English and he couldn’t speak Spanish. He finally found his way to a Carrfour grocery store, bought the glasses and arrived back in Castrojerez (Castro Harry’s) just as I was lost and standing in the middle of the street. He needed a couple glasses of wine after that one!
The good news about today was that it didn’t rain. But my leg muscles were now so sore I could hardly move. So I spent the afternoon showering and soaking in a nice warm tub. I promised that tomorrow I’d treat myself like the Pampered Pilgrim I should be. I’d eat, drink and take plenty of rest breaks. Well, we’ll see what happens…