Haven’t written anything in a while, we have been without wifi for the past three days. We are currently in Castrojariz in a camping facility. We were in Rabe de Calzados last night in the Alburgue Domine, that Quinn recommended to us by text. It was a very nice alburgue that had a communal dinner of soup salad and tortilla, which if you remember isn’t our tortilla but more like a quiche with eggs, potatoes, and milk. I really like them but Deb liked the pasta salad the best. We had a room to ourselves again which is very nice, also it was downstairs which was especially nice. There was another alburgue in the town, which we maybe should have stayed at. The couple that ran it have one of the oldest alburgues on the camino. He was sitting outside as we walked into town and started clapping for Deb as she came around the corner, yelling Brava.
After we got settled in we walked to the church and he invited me into their place and showed me a ton of pictures and Camino paraphernalia he had in one two story room, it was amazing. He also gave each of us a Santiago medal to carry with us.
We went to the bar to get some snacks before dinner and met an American from Idaho. We asked if he knew the I’ll push you guys but he didn’t seem to be much of a pilgrim, I shouldn’t judge but all he did was gripe about having to get up early in the alburgues and lack of accommodations. Turns out he was friends with Gala and was staying at our alburgue. When we went to dinner we sat with Gala from California, we ate lunch with her and Beverly from Texas in Logrono. We also sat with a girl from Sweden who was very nice and a older gentleman from Italy, who didn’t speak any English. We find that even with no common language there is always something to talk about.
About halfway through the meal the American from Idaho came in rather drunk and sat at the next table with Jeremy, an Englishman we met and Joreetja ? from Holland, and a Frenchman. The first thing he starts in on is the gun culture in Europe and America. While I may not agree with everyones opinions sometimes there are subjects best left home, guns, religion and politics.
When he finally left to go back to the bar, I heard Jeremy say, “So many Americans do their best to alleviate the stereotype of the loud American and then this bloke comes in and totally reinforces them all” He had talked about having 20 guns, some to shoot people with, some to shoot animals and some just for fun. I met Jeremy later the next day and we had a pleasant evening in Castrojariz, more in a later post.
We were told we could not do the next section because of the rocks and there was no through road. We had booked a taxi for the next morning but it would be very expensive from Burgos. We walked about 2 or 3 km outside of town on the Camino to check for ourselves and it was a beautiful packed path so we went back in to cancel the taxi. Our hostess said we should really reconsider, about 5 km out there was a very steep and rocky descent into Hornillos and another worse one into Hontanas so we kept the cab.
The next morning we went to the bar and met the owner and his perro (dog) Donna. Very smart and friendly, the dog and the owner. He didn’t speak much English but he said we were wise not to attempt the next part. At 9 the taxi showed up right as the family from Sweden walked through town. They are walking the Meseta this year to pick up the part they missed. They are walking with their two children and a baby in a stroller. Very nice people, he is a teacher from America but they live in Sweden. Well the taxi driver was the same one that took us to Castrenela. We really like him but he got lost and it took us over an hour to find the town of Hontanas. It was fine with us though we got to see some very pretty villages that other pilgrims don’t get the chance to see and the fare was the same.
When we got to Hontanas we walked around the corner and who would be sitting there but Ali, the Italian girl, and Jeremy having a café con leche at a little café. They had walked in from where we took the cab and were already there. We started on and met a girl from Portland, Oregon at the edge of town, everyone passes us so we see everybody usually twice. She took the path while we took the road. The path looked like it went up the mountain on rocks so we didn’t think we could make that part. Turns out it paralleled the road but there were still some bad spots we may not have made. The Camino met up with the road after about 5 km and everyone walked there through San Anton, into Castrojariz. As we were walking we came across a family from Arizona who were going to stay in a campground there and walked with them for a while hearing their story, they had many ties to Spain.
They went to the campground but we had heard of a couple of alburgues in town. We didn’t realize the town was over 2 km long and everyone else had heard of these also. Most of them we either couldn’t get into or were full, there were a couple that would work but would be rough for us. Deb waited in the plaza while I walked back to the campground to check it out. There were three bungalows at the entrance but I could find no reception so I was about to leave. Then something told me to look over the little hill. There were about 20 little travel trailers and several more buildings. I went down, walked into the bar/reception and Jeremy was standing there. “Oh my Brother, I am so glad you made it I must give you a hug” It felt so nice seeing someone else I knew who was staying there also. It was 18€ but that included dinner and we had a little 4 person cabin all to ourselves, Jeremy, Deb and I. It was a little tricky getting in but we slept very well. In the morning it was freezing though. Kind of like sleeping in a tent.
Right now I am typing this on the little porch in the sun while D is still sleeping inside the door. It is warmer outside than in, but she is piled with blankets. It is about 9:30 and I am waiting for the owners son to come to work, he has been helping us get passage to Fromista. He doesn’t think there is a handicap cab in the town, but he will call the bus station again today to see if we can get on. We also talked he has a friend with a van and maybe one with a pickup we could just pay them to take us to Fromista. The unemployment in Spain is very high and little jobs make a world of difference to the people here. The taxi from Bugos would cost us over 100€ while the van would probably be about 20.
We had a lovely visit with Jeremy last night, people really open up on the Camino, that is part of it. Many people need healing and sometimes it is easier to talk to people here than anywhere else he says. He used to be a Catholic Priest but is now looking into becoming a therapist. Maybe it is just the English reserve but I believe he would make a great one. We spoke of many things but out of respect most I will keep to myself, lets just say I really like him Jeremy and wish him the best healing camino a person could have. I believe he is a good man who made a mistake and things will work out. With much love Jeremy if you are reading this. God will provide.
Well I will get D up and see if the wifi will work to post this long blog