September 3rd 2021 – Day 3
- Castrojeriz to Boadilla del Camino
- Distance: 19km
- Albergue: Albergue En El Camino
Another amazing morning started off with breakfast in the albergue. I gathered my things from the dorm room and made my way (bag in hand) to the kitchen. There were cereals of all types available, juices, teas and coffee and bread. I went with my usual – some fruit and coffee. In the kitchen, I was joined by the Johns from the USA and Holland respectively. John from Holland would be walking to Fromista so I would probably not see him again. You never know though! Castrojeriz to Boadilla del Camino is a handy stage but the nice climb to negotiate at the start.
The albergue is one of the last buildings in the village, so it didn’t take me long to wave goodbye. Part of me was unsure of what was ahead though – the Alto de Mostelares – a 1000 metre hill that brings us back on the meseta plains. Having climbed it 3 times before, you would think I would be used to it – nope! I just put each foot forward and when I was out of breath, I turned around and looked at the town below me.
The above photos was taken half way up the Alto and that is the town I stayed in the night previous. I learned alot about how fit I was during this ascent. It is a difficult climb but in years gone by, I didn’t find it as challenging. Maybe it is me getting older? I arrive at the top of the hill with an American cyclist and we talk for a bit. I must have been here for a half an hour until Linda and Andreas pop their head over the hill. This was a big surprise for me as now I have someone to walk with. We stop here for a bit before we march on however Andreas has a much faster pace than Linda and mine. I refuse to say goodbye and say “see you on the way”. He strides away in the distance in no time. He lives up to his Camino name “Andiana Jones” – Linda and myself try to figure out suitable names for sequels (for example…Andiana Jones and the Revenga del Campos)…it passes the time and Andreas has no problem with it!
Once at the top of the Alto, there is only way left to go – down! The road has been renovated in the last number of years so instead of gravel, you have concrete and it is impossible to fall. It is quite easy to pick up the kilometres from Castrojeriz to Boadilla del Camino but I choose not to. I am in no hurry. We are out in the open and the sun is coming out now. Our next stop is the Albergue de San Nicholas in Puente Fitero for a sello and then we are in Palencia. And we met Andreas again!
We were worried that there would be no cafes open in Itero de la Vega – our next stop. However, about a kilometre in our fears were put to rest. Bar Puente Fitero was open and serving food. We stopped for some second breakfast and application of sun cream. We met Nicole from Germany for the first time and said hello, although we wouldn’t walk for another few days.
To Boadilla del Camino, we had another 8 kms to go – another 2 hours walk. I was introduced to Linda’s sun protector – Polly, which is extremely effective. This was another day with very few pilgrims compared to other years. I was glad to have some company with me but my Camino was due to end in the next few days. In the next while, we could see the top of Boadilla’s church in the distance. We were near! But the nearer we made it to the town, the church seemed to disappear. Is the Camino deceiving us again? We arrived shortly to be greeted by the church at the rear of the village. Albergue En El Camino was open however the entrance to the albergue was closed and we needed to enter via the hotel. We were greeted by Eduardo – ever positive. It is the 4th time I have met him now! He brings me into the albergue from the hotels section and the garden is empty. Hopefully that atmosphere will return next year.
Linda had a room in the hotel section and I had the first bunk in the albergue part, which was full by 4pm. It was full of Spanish and French pilgrims. In 2017, the majority of pilgrims in En El Camino were from the USA. Later on, I received a call from my good friend Garry who lives in Santiago. He had been leading a group on bikes to Santiago and was passing through Boadilla. He wanted to meet. I met just outside the albergue. It was the first time since 2012 that we have met. He is an inspiring guy and if you are looking for a Camino guide check out www.spanishadventures.com. It it wasn’t for Garry, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be walking in Spain each and every year.
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