Day 16 : Bercianos del Real Camino to Reliegos

Steve : Bercianos has a strict no-getting-up-before-6:00am policy, which, on the whole, was adhered to. The promised snorefest (see yesterdays post) didn’t really happen. But sleep was slow to arrive because of the sweltering heat.

We looked at the ‘Vegetarian Way’ poster and decided to stop a few km before normal today in the tiny town of Reliegos, 6km before Mansillas, the usual stop. This will give us 24km to do to Leon tomorrow but that’s ok. We’ve booked hotel rooms in Leon so we can sleep in glorious solitude and use real TOWELS! Oh, the luxury.

Sunrise, again, run it’s out to get you…

The route today was hot and dry, and ran alongside the road.

After yesterday’s blisterfest I wore my sandals with thick socks, which might seem counterintuitive but seems to work for me – trading off coolness (in the thermodynamic sense, coolness in the fashion session having been abandoned long ago) and support. Frankly this part of the trail is a little boring.

H, J and I spent the walk discussing how to declutter ones wardrobe (capsule wardrobe, apparently), scuba diving and flying lessons (to the great surprise of J and me, H doesn’t actually know how to fly a plane. However he does seem to be able to do pretty much everything else…).

Breakfast was in El Burgo Ranero.

Do I really want to know?
Impromptu roadside library

By 10:30 the heat was getting problematic so we were very pleased to stumble upon Reliegos as we rounded a bend over a hill and we found the Ada Albergue in no time. We were the first in.

Wash, rinse, leather, repeat, etc and done.

This is a very nice albergue. Highly recommended. Our hospitalero was from Wales and volunteers here for a few weeks every year. The above photo shows him serenading the locals.

Now, cash is in short supply and we were down to our last 12 euros. No cash machine until Mansillas, 6 k into tomorrow, and Spanish shops don’t do credit cards. We tried to pay with a MasterCard in the breakfast cafe and you’d think the lady had never seen one before. She had a look of “why are you showing me a piece of pink plastic?”

Just after getting settled in H got the dreaded email from Edinburgh University informing him that his final degree grade had been posted. J and I stole his iPad and login whilst he looked on in pain. No worries. Let me introduce Mr Hamish Hutchings, BSc Hons, Upper Second. Oh yes…  we were sadly too broke to celebrate.

Following our bread and cheese lunch J got the same email. We stole her phone and we’re delighted to inform her that we were now in the presence of Ms Jennifer Logan MA Hons, Upper Second.

By now we had a mere 2 euros and 12 cents to our name so celebrations were restricted to a carton of fruit juice and a KitKat. Living it large.

Dinner was splendid. Pedro, the albergue owner, is an excellent cook and we had the best meal of the trip so far. Pedro provided a free bottle of wine and toasted the future of the new graduates. Very pleasant evening.

Pedro in the kitchen

There were only 8 of us in that evening. No snorers!

Early to bed. Tomorrow is the trudge to Leon alongside a busy road.

Day 16 : Stats

Bercianos del Real Camino to Reliegos

Steps 31,683

Distance covered, according to Brierley

  • 21.5 km direct, 21.5 km actual walking
  • 325.6 km to go

Other Fitbit stats

  • 28.51 km walked (based on 0.9m stride length)
  • 281 ‘active’ minutes
  • 4,797 cals burned