Saturday, May 26th … 20 kms … 13 miles
After such a wet day, the beds were amazing last night. It was especially nice being in a room with 6 beds. It only took 13 days for me to learn that when you arrive at a hostel there are limited blankets usually in a cupboard or closet. The trick is as soon as you arrive, you ask about blankets and if there are any left you get one and place it on your bed. I was toasty warm all wrapped up in my sleeping bag liner and blanket.
Since today was a short day, we decided to leave around 7 am. We did want to make it in good time because there was a Donativo Hostel in Castrojeriz. It would be sweet for the budget to get in there!
After our light breakfast at the hostel, we put on our shoes and opened the door to the crisp morning air. The sky was a mixture of clouds and patches of blue. It was absolutely perfect. There was a chance of rain, but fingers crossed it would hold off.
This entire day was beautiful and just when you thought it couldn’t get more beautiful, you would round a corner and be wowed! All you could do was stand in awe!
God’s beautiful work was all around us!
It was an 11 km walk into Hontanas, just about the halfway point for the day. And our mid-morning breakfast stop. There weren’t a lot of cafes on today’s route so we just made sure we had water and our snacks. All is well!
The five of us walked at a good pace. We knew when Minh’s blisters were hurting because he actually walked faster. He said he just wanted to sit down. There were some days he was so far ahead of us; we only saw a dot!
But today he felt well. So, he walked along with us.
I was so glad as we entered Hontanas. A restroom was needed by all. This little town is tucked into a dip in the Meseta.
We enjoyed our break. Today we have seen a lot of new pilgrims. Burgos is a starting point for a lot of pilgrims because they don’t want to do the beginning. Like I said you know they are new because their shoes are clean and when they stand up after sitting at the café, they walk normally.
After the breaks, when we stand we walk a little funny for a while until our muscles loosen up again.
After our break and as we were leaving Hontanas we walked past a beautiful church. Our Lady of the Conception was a 14th-century church dominating the tiny village square. As you walked past it you felt the air of quiet reverence.
Hey guys, let’s go in!
The next town on the map was San Aton. It was 6kms away. Not bad at all. We had lots of energy today. Lots of laughter and singing.
Minh would start to march like he was in the military and sing his marching songs. He did serve in Korea. Minh shared his story about serving and the requirements to serve in Korea.
Another nice thing about walking and meeting people from other countries, you get to learn all about their culture and life. So interesting.
So we passed some time, singing and marching. Trying to remember chants as we marched.
A little further down the road, we arrived at the impressive ancient 14th-century Convento de San Antón. These ruins were amazing. We passed under St. Anthony’s archway, Arco de San Antón. During the time it was active, the pilgrims were received in the church, they were blessed and given a scapular with the “tau”, they were offered wheat bread also with the “tau”, wine, and some bells also with the cross of Saint Anthony.
It was magical, you could feel it in the air!
There was a little café just past it, so we snuck in to have a snack and use the restroom. They were playing music and it was a perfect little break. The gentleman came up to me as I was sitting and gave me a bouquet of flowers. He stuck it to my shirt. So, sweet! As we were sitting there resting, Kelly our roommate from last night walked in. We sat and shared our break time with her.
It was 11:30 and we only had 5 kms to go! So easy.
The rest of the day was on a long flat paved road, beautiful but long and straight. You could see Castrojeriz almost the entire time.
We were so excited to arrive at Castrojeriz. But we weren’t there just yet, the town is 2km in length and our hostel was on the other end. No problem, I would rather walk it now than in the morning.
This beautiful church was at the beginning of the town.
We walked down the long narrow town and got ourselves a little turned around. The town has layers. We took the path on the bottom road but our hostel was up on the top road, so up the stairs, we climbed.
We arrived at the hostel and yes, we were able to have beds. I believe we took 5 of the last 7 beds.
Hostel: Albergue San Esteban, Donativo, 35 beds
We arrived in town so early, it was nice. It was only 12:30. We decided to shower and then go get lunch before siesta.
We made our way down to a restaurant and ordered a bunch of tapas. The others all had cokes and I had a Vino Tinto. When the bill arrived, we just split it between the five of us. Wait, what? The cokes were 1 euro each and my glass of Vino was only 50cent euro!! Imagine that a glass of wine for 50cents!!
We returned to the hostel after our tapas and had time for card games and siesta. We even had time for a little shopping. It was a perfect evening, again we made new friends.
The hostel was one big room with 35 beds. It was the first time I was on the top bunk. Until now, Cale would always take the top and I would be on the bottom. Also, it was the first time I wasn’t near the others. We had to take whatever beds were empty.
I had random people all around me and only a few familiar faces at the hostel. The other weird thing was the bunks were close together. So, I had some random dude sleeping about 3 ft on each side of me. Yikes!
It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Once I started talking with everyone, I was comfortable.
Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz, 20 kms…13 miles, Cloudy and Sun
Today was a short walk. We thought it might rain but it ended up being beautiful!
Lots of new pilgrims on the road. They all started in Burgos.
*side note: It amazes me the amount of men walking around in their underwear in the hostels. For goodness sakes, put some pants on!
My body is feeling better, feet are not as sore. My body understands what is happening and is working great. Thank you body!
Praying for continued healing, letting go of thoughts that don’t belong, and letting go of past friends (or who I thought were my friends).
Seeing on the Camino how we come and go, like the pilgrims. We must remember this in life. How every day is a new and different day. Remember that! Don’t fall into comfort zones. Keep stepping out, that’s what it is all about. Keep moving and pop the bubble, don’t get stuck in life. So many lessons.
Thank you, Jesus!
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. ~ James 2:14-17