DAY 22: September 15 (Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz – 21 km)
Note: There are many things shared with fellow pilgrims and as always as word is passed along rumours abound. It turns out the fellow that runs Sol de Sol in Hornillos is the brother of the young woman who married Martin Sheen’ s grandson. However, they did not meet when “The Way” was bring filmed but rather the movie was made because Martin Sheen is a devout Catholic of Spanish origin.
It rained all night but we slept through it:-) As the forecast was for thunderstorms we did not dawdle over breakfast as we usually do. The trail was an assortment of paved highway, muddy dirt roads and rocky goat trails but all in all the walk was not difficult. We stopped for cafe con leche half way at a Hontanas, a pretty village. It is interesting to see the restoration going on here. The old stone buildings are gutted but the facades are reinforced. These are being converted to albergues and casa rural accommodation for pilgrims. At peak walking times pilgrims cannot always find a place to sleep. Also, along the Camino many of the churches and monasteries are being restored. Purists believe this will ruin the Camino….Seeing people setting out before dawn to be sure of a place to sleep makes us grateful we have reservations.
Despite the guide book warnings we found the Meseta to have a beauty of its own. Perhaps, being from North America, we are more used to vastness. In this area it is hilly with agricultural fields bring carved out of the steep hillsides. It is quite remarkable. There are also terraced areas of reforestation with pine trees. The soil looks so terrible–chalky and rock-filled but grains, sunflowers and alfalfa manage to thrive in it.
Dotting the landscape are castles, towers, monasteries, and arches built many hundreds of years ago. We are truly walking through history. It gives us a sense of belonging and is also, somewhat humbling.
We have a nice balcony off our room tonight with a panoramic view of the hills.
Tomorrow we have a rest day in Castrojeriz and we are looking forward to exploring.
We forgot to mention—the thunderstorms passed us by:-)