Day 11 : Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

Steve : Another beautiful day. In an effort to beat the sun we got up at 5:30am when the air was cool and damp. Out on the trail by 6am.

A short climb out of town and we were on the meseta again. I know I keep saying this but this place really is magical. Last night we met a couple of Frenchmen who had walked from Grenoble and were doing 40+ km/day. They arrived in Hornillos around 7pm and were going to keep going. It was a full moon and they wanted to cross the meseta by moonlight. What an excellent idea.

Moon at your front…
Sun at your back

The sun rose at our backs around 6:30. This place looks like The Shire from Lord of The Rings.

Wildflowers along the trail
Catching the dawn light

A breakfast stop around 9am in Hontonas.

An interesting fountain

We passed through ruined churches…

…along perfectly smooth empty roads…

…and finally saw the town of Castrojeriz and it’s ancient hilltop castle.

Today is a short day of around 20km and we were in the albergue by 11:30.

It was getting proper Spanish hot.

We couldn’t quite suss out the town of Castrojeriz. Like a lot of the villages through which we walked there were many ‘Se Vendre’ (‘For Sale’) signs.

For sale, anyone?
A not untypical façade

Similarly for this small town of population 500, according to Brierley. It looked like some money had been spent on Castrojeriz. There was a rather good museum of the Camino that we visited and the street furniture of road signs and lampposts were all new and of interesting design.

Half way up the high street (the whole town is strung out along a single road) was a house with a painted bicycle outside. ‘La Casa del Silencio’ read a sign hanging on the bike – ‘The House of Silence’.

We entered in to find an entire house filled with art, books, music and no-one around. It was really lovely. We must have spent the best part of an hour looking at the art and drinking in the atmosphere.

House of Silence back garde – beautiful

Grade One Hippy and all the better for it. If you’re in Castrojeriz pay it a visit.

Now, we’re still sending on a bag each day because we’re basically lazy. Each morning for the last week we’d attach a courier envelope, with 5 euros, to our bag of stuff and it would automagically show in the albergue that evening. But in Hornillos we’d not read the small print (we’d never read the small print) and we didn’t know we had to phone the courier to arrange pickup. We thought that the couriers just visited all the albergues and picked up whatever was there. So, we found ourselves in Castrojeriz minus clean clothes and the other pilgrim essentials that we were too lazy to carry.

Oliver, the immensely helpful German ‘hospitalero’, who actually ran the hostel, sorted it out for us. Our bag showed up around 3pm and we felt very stupid and grateful.

Dinner that evening was a big pasta-and-thing concocted by J and H. We shared it with Tom, an American gent from Florida, who was good company.

Early to bed as tomorrow is a long 25km and we need to be up to beat the sun.

Day 11 : Stats

Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

  • Steps 32,729
  • Distance covered, according to Brierley
    • 20.1 km direct, 21.3 km actual walking
    • 451.6 km to go
  • Other Fitbit stats
    • 29.46 km walked (based on 0.9m stride length)
    • 268 ‘active’ minutes
    • 4,589 cals burned

Meseta Soundtrack

Steve : I have an MP3 player packed with stuff but I find myself largely walking in silence.

But, that doesn’t stop the internal music player in my brain from running.

Today, we saw the sun come up over the meseta. And it was a thing of beauty.  My internal MP3 player could only think of one song with any lines about sun rises, so my morning was spent singing Sheryl Crow’s Crash and Burn.

I watched the sun come up on Portland
I waved goodbye to all my friends
I packed my car and headed to LA
I gave away all my loose ends

I’ve no real idea what the song is about but I did remember that first line.  And there’s a splendid liquid electric guitar throughout.  A great song for the day.