Castrojeriz to Fromista (Camino de Santaigo)

No moon this morning so headlamps were essential. The yellow arrows quickly led us out of town and onto a dirt road that once again climbed upwards. The track over the last few weeks has gained and lost a lot of elevation so this morning was just more of the same. We gained 600 feet before sunrise and the lights of Castrojeriz showed how far we had climbed.  Once we arrived at the top of the hill we faced a strong bitterly cold wind. There was a three sided stone shelter that was built specifically for Pilgrims. One could tell which direction the wind always blows. I unpacked, added all my additional clothing and faced the wind. I walked quickly to attempt to stay warm and soon outpaced the others. Once again the scenery of the Meseta (Plains) lay flat and far reaching. No villages were in sight but after some time another small jewel of a valley appeared with a few buildings and we were able to purchase a much needed coffee and roll. The fuel revived my energy and after another 8 kilometers l stopped for a second coffee. The days hiking was going quite splendidly. The hills and terrain remind me so much of Nebraska, flat and green. We followed a canal bank (Canal de Castilla) for a few miles and once again were transported to my Midwest childhood. Tall reeds grew along the water’s edge and were filled with songbirds singing their individual songs, absolutely lovely. We crossed over a bridge on the Rio Pisuerga and I took a few moments to shoot some photos as this was the day we have left the province of Burgos and entered Palencia. We arrived in Fromista around 11:30am and had several hours to wait until the alberque opened. We had covered nearly 16 miles in 6 hours of walking. We found a bar and ordered pizza and beer with me burning my fingers on the hot plate, yes I was told not to touch the hot plate. The alberque finally opened and the registration process that has been repeated nightly; stand in line, present pilgrim’s passport for a handwritten log entry, stamping of passport, pay the entry fee and assignment of cot. This alberque cost 7 euro and only had ten beds per room. It was a beautiful evening so we walked to the Mercado and purchased red wine, cheese, chorizo, bread, pimentos and white asparagus. Sitting in the main square were the two Seattle women, their Aussie friend and a crazy cigarette smoking German fellow who waved us over to join them. It was an enjoyable evening sitting in the warmth of the sun with newly found friends.  Journal: “An old woman walked by and wished me a “Buen Camino”. This occurs on a regular basis as many in the villages are supportive and familiar with pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compostela.” I voiced a Kimism tonight. Quote” This beer did a pretty good job of smoothing out the rough edges, whatever rough edges I got.”