Today´s forecast is for rain and possible thunder storms with lightning. We have already decided this is the day to send our bags on and carry only a day pack. (the daypack weighs about 1/2 of the regular pack after you’ve added the water)
One note. Dinner was exceptional last night. This is simply one of the best Pilgrim Menu´s we have had to date. Best of all it was served upstairs in Cuatro Cantones, our Albergue. Highly recommended.
As Bene had spent the night in a different Albergue so we arranged to wait for her to come over to our place before heading out of Belorado. We stayed the night in a somewhat smaller place with 32 bunks in a very small room. The showers are in an open space, although they have doors to provide some privacy.
Our path out of town is largely uphill until the last section which is described as a gentle downhill run into St. Juan de Ortega. I was hurting from the previous day but both Susan and Bene were feeling quite good. (especially Bene) The route today is actually seeming to be quite manageable. A lot up upgrade sections that will at some point start to affect my right hip. I have to leave the main group, concentrate on the walk and power though the difficult time…and I am able to do this, but it isn’t something I would describe as fun. One of the sections we stopped to have lunch turned out to be the site a mass grave from the Spanish Civil War. Many bodies were found buried on the top of the mountain in mass graves, the majority of the murdered were originally rounded up in Burgos. There were two grave sites in this one spot. An absolutely beautiful location surrounded by trees and hilltops. Then to find this…..the whole area was suddenly shaded with a deeply solemn feeling. History is still so alive.
Our route took us over the mountain range and directly through mud soaked paths. The mud is heavy and red, blanketing the path in many areas. The mud starts to collect on our boots from time to time. Not enough to make you walk like Frankenstein, just enough to bother you psychologically.
At a truck stop I must have taken my Brierley’s Guide out of my pack and failed to put it back. A bit later during the walk I discovered I had left it behind. Crap! This was incredibly dumb, and although some may say it IS like me, I think it is incredibly UNLIKE me.
So far the rain has held off but finally after leaving the truck stop we are forced to pull out our rain gear.
Our entry to St. Juan de Ortega is in the rain… but as this is happening in the dying minutes of the day’s walk; we are not really affected too much by it’s arrival.
Now here´s the best part of the day. Someone had found my guide and carried it to the one Albergue in town. (there is only one place to sleep in St. Juan de Ortega) My guide, with my name on it, was sitting on the table In the entrance of the Albergue. Pilgrims are the greatest people.
Now, here the scoop you need to know about St. Juan de Ortega.
The Albergue is an old monestary, it smells like it, it looks like it…. it is…(smells like a duck, looks like a duck…. it´s a duck) There is nothing new about this place…..nothing. The church, a part of the monastery we will be sleeping in, was used as storage for hay (or straw) for many years. This inadvertently protected and preserved this now historic building.
By the time I check in the only bunks left are on the top and there are not ladders to get into the bunks. This should be interesting….. Dinner may be another experience all together… There is only one place to eat dinner too. It appears they can sit 25 people at a time…..ouch.
Seeing as there are roughly 150 people in this Albergue, and no other dining options, this should be interesting.
Well , all very nice and thoughful of a Pilgrim to carry your 25 kilo book to the finish line for you …but I will be REALLY impressed when some true Pilgrim offers up a lower bunk to the “Ole Guy!!” If not, take heart, your route tomorrow doesn’t look quite so hilly… I am now tracking you stage by stage with a rockin’ elevation map! All calm here…the sumach is turning red and the nights have a nice chill in the air….and we are still hoping for some artist renderings!!!:) Luv YA!
PS It is incredibly like you….. 🙂
I finally watched “The Way” today and frankly I don’t know what the fuss is.it looked quite simple. Martin Sheen had a pep in his step every day and he’s older than you!
I don’t remember seeing Martin climbing any hills in that movie….. I’m thinking false advertising…..
Really this has already been a trip of a lifetime….and there is more to come.
As Always….. Cam’.
I just found what Nancy is talking about… There’s an app for that! I now have the official app on my iPad and am following along.
We have been following your blog on our return to Perth, Australia and thoroughly enjoying it. It is great you talk about Bene, Susan and Ed as we met them in Orisson on our first night. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. What a great achievement to date. Keep smiling
Hello and I’m glad you appear to have made it home safely.
Eddie has Stayed back a bit to rest his feet. He is an unfortunate victim of blisters…but we are hoping he will be able to rejoin us soon enough.
Orisson is one of the highlights of the trip for everyone who stayed there.
Be well and thank you for writing.
As Always…. Cam’.
Hi Cam. Karen here. your sweetheart told me to send you a note. I read your blog while on a business trip. You should think about creative writing as your next gig. You are a natural story-teller! Your words and punctuation bring this trip alive for your readers, who are living vacariously through you! Stay well and continue to care for your fellow travellers. I’m sure you bring a light to their day!
Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words Karen. This trip is so much more than I could have ever imagined. I encourage anyone with 6 weeks to consider taking up the challenge…..
I hope everything is well with you, Victor and the boys.
Take care and return home safely.
As Always…… Cam’.
I Cam – today is the day I am catching up with your trip. I just haven’t had time until now! Sounds like each day is full of challenge, joy, relief, pain….just like a LARGE version of life, eh? Missing you at uke night. Tomorrow night is the next one.
Just to let you know – my gig at the Old Mill was fanTAStic! Some ukers – including Anna, Mike, Linndaa-Marie and Adele came.
We are so looking forward to having you back home, and hearing all about you realizing your bucket list dream. (I still have a few of your Camino days to catch up on – so hopefully you’re still hale and hardy).