Castrojeriz to Fromista (Population: 800)
April 15, 2015
25.69 km in 6hr 57 min
7 AM to 1:57 PM
Castrojeriz is built into a hillside. It has a lot of stone steps. We tried them all, more than once. There are two church museums. Neither is open and no sign indicates when they ever will be. There are two small grocery stores, but no bakery! You cannot believe signs for shops that say when they will be open. Only one restaurant is open for breakfast before eight in the morning and we found it last night. We showed up at 7:03 AM at the gates but they were locked. We could see lights on in the restaurant across the courtyard but no way to get anyone’s attention.
So we walked out of the village and climbed the steep meseta. The sign said it was a 12% grade. It looked and felt like 45%. Three kilometres later we were at the top: 1070 metres and celebrated by sharing an orange.
The top of the meseta was short and soon we were going down an 18% concrete grade. We had to shorten our steps to keep from rolling to the bottom. That would have been a scary toboggan run.
After 11 km of walking we arrived in Itero de la Vega and had breakfast: our first bacon and eggs. Yum!
Last night we chatted with an Irish couple who started walking when we did but took two days off then made up for it by twice walking 41 km in a day. Crazy! This couple showed up as we finished breakfast. They had had their breakfast at 7:05 AM in the restaurant we had tried to enter. The difference was they had stayed at that albergue so they did not have to find a way in.
We donned rain gear after breakfast but only had to wear it for half an hour. We got rid of it before climbing the next meseta, not so steep. Severe thunderstorms were forecast but they blew past us.
We probably marched too fast to avoid rain. Brian said much of our early moving speed was more than six km per hour. My feet were burning a lot today. When we stopped for a cold lemon drink, I put duct tape on the soles of my feet. The last six km were so much better.
The last few km were also along the Canal de Castilla. It would have been fun to canoe this canal. There were locks as we entered Fromista. The fifty locks of this canal are no longer in use but there is talk of refurbishing them and making this a recreational waterway. For now it is being used for irrigation. We had a picnic lunch of croissant sandwiches near the locks.
There were many fields being watered today. I guess the farmers figured today’s rain would not be much. We were sprayed by one jet of water that we did not scurry past fast enough.
We are in a room with three single beds and our own bathroom with shower, not as fancy as last night but comfortable. This looks like a less sleepy town. Brian just saw a flock of sheep herded through town. We even saw a herd of dairy cows on the edge of town.