Day 18 – The Majesty of the Meseta

Waking up at 6:00 am and heading out the door by 6:30, we find ourselves in a fog and very chilly temperatures. I can see my breath, and my headlamp illuminates the fog as much as the road. This makes the going a little slow. The uncomfortably low temperature and high humidity call for extra layers we didn’t recognise being required when we woke up. Now, the reality of the early morning brings us around faster than a slap in the face. Bene has an amazing ability to don her long underwear without taking off her shorts. I did not watch the whole process but it seemed by simply putting one leg on first, then passing other leg through the shorts and out the other leg… put your other leg into the long underwear and wiggle a lot, the long underwear is on. I don’t recommend trying this unless you are within reach of a phone in the event emergency services are required to rescue you from a very embarrassing situation. Consider yourself forewarned.
Walking in the dark and fog provides a comforting closeness with the path and nature. It is a good feeling and we are able to walk on at a brisk pace…..this may also have been a technique we used to try and warm up more than anything. We then had to stop for me to dig out my sweater and jacket. More delays…
After walking for less than an hour the trail suddenly turned upward. It became immediately apparent we would be climbing up one of the plateaus we had been admiring yesterday, and the day before. The path wasn’t extreme but was a constant challenge to our legs and lungs. I realized I was trying to keep the same pace we established on the flats. This obviously wasn’t going to work.
As we climbed higher and higher we emerged from the fog. Sunrise was probably a little less than a hour from happening, and the earliest light of day was simply magical. A multicolored band of light from deep blue to an orange illuminated the sea of fog below, and the top 20% of the plateaus. The “plateau islands” appeared to be floating over a tranquil, white sea. On the tops of the plateaus windmills generating electricity with lazy turns of their enormous blades. More than fourty turning slowly, and methodically.
The path levelled off as abruptly as started and we were then presented an absolutely flat, table top landscape, barren of trees or features. Just a single pathway to follow. After a kilometre or two we came to the opposite side an the roadway dipped and steeply fell into the valley below.
The fog on this side was less thick, and soon we were looking at blue sky. Time to strip all the layers we had been applying earlier. Eventually the temperature reached 22 degrees, but the direct sun felt very much hotter.
Stopping for a sandwich around 10 o’clock, and another stop for a quick drink and bathroom break….. we ultimately found a way to continue.
The approach to Fromista is beside a man-made canal. It is relaxing to walk beside the water and the last 2 or 3 kilometres melt away. As we enter the town of Fromista (pop. 800) a dam and waterfall are the features you are welcomed by.
The municipal Albergue is slightly off the path but such a welcome sight after 25 kilometres.
Mark and Zeb have arrived before us. Rene from Calgary, Steven and Kelsey from Saskatchewan, Ian from Auckland and Mallory from the USA are soon joining us for the evening this small town.
It is good to be off my feet…… it is good for us all to be off our feet!

6 thoughts on “Day 18 – The Majesty of the Meseta

  1. Bene’s trick is an Australian speciality; the art of getting changed in full view at a crowded beach. Glad to hear she’s adapting it to long johns
    Best Jennifer

    • It’s a talent I tried to duplicate in the privacy of the bathroom. Bene knocked on the door after 20 minutes.
      I said I was OK, and freed myself 10 minutes later…. I don’t think I will try this again until I am on an Australian beach.
      We are taking good care of Bene, an she is taking good care of Susan and I.
      As Always…. Cam’.

    • A “dawdle”?….. I waddle to be sure. Love your comment, and I love the Camino. This is the trip of a lifetime’. Seriously.
      I will certainly have lots to tell you and show.
      Be well…all the best.
      As Always….. Cam’.

    • Hiya Debbie!!!!
      I miss you and my Ukulele family such. I am playing my use every day…and I’m still no good.
      I was really surprised you cut the grass in October. Did you forget n August?
      Be well.
      As Always….. Cam’.

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