DAY 13: REDILLA DEL CAMINO TO VILLAFRANCA MONTES DE OCA
It’s our first cloudy day so I must take a picture. Ha! I shouldn’t joke because the forecast for the next few days shows rain and even snow one day. Thankfully we brought layers and rain gear. We are all hoping it’s either a light mist and/or makes its way through quickly.
Our day started with a few mile hike before stopping at a nice but quirky cafe. It was a mix of upscale and strange with a bin of baby dolls and elegant chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It was the only cafe for miles and had wonderful coffee so I’d say the perfect stop.
One of the lovely towns we pass through is Belorado. The highlight of the historic town is the 16th century church and the delightful square.
The Church of Santa Maria is lodged in the limestone cliffs that surround the city. We are even able to see hermit cave dwellings behind it within the stone.
The sleepy streets are colorful with murals reflecting the history and way of life on the Camino pilgrimage.
After Belorado in Tosantos, we take a break at a bar/cafe attached to an alburgue. Initially it was just to adjust my bandages since Bertha and now twin sister, Barbara, was bothering me. But we overhear another pilgrim proclaim his sandwich was the best one yet so we decide to grab a plate of calamari and a few sandwiches. He was right; delicious and plentiful.
It’s here he have our first run-in with an annoying group of young-ish pilgrims. They are from all different countries, having met on the hike from what we can tell. There’s maybe ten of them total and they are oblivious to their surroundings.
Oh well. To each their own, right? After refueling, we hit the path.
We arrive at our albergue after an exhausting 15-mile day of continual climbing. We are looking forward to a hot meal, wine, and then our pillows. Unfortunately, at dinner we encounter the large group from earlier in the day. They are loud, drunk and obnoxious and it’s obvious everyone else isn’t loving their behavior either. It makes for an entertaining yet unenjoyable dinner.
The Camino has definitely tried and tested my level of patience and this is another teachable moment.
On the plus side the restaurant was beautiful (we even had table cloths) and the food great. Oh and no bunk beds tonight baby!
DAY 14: VILLAFRANCA MONTES DE OCA TO AGES
We began today’s hike with two steep climbs then a relatively flat walk. It went from a rocky path to sand then stone again, all within a pine tree wooded area. It’s a nice change of scenery from the last few days.
Recently we’ve found ourselves in a small bottleneck of pilgrims including the large obnoxious group. For meeting new people it’s great, but for making sure we can secure a bed at night it’s not. Lodging is limited in most towns and we are slow-moving today so we stop short of the more popular town, Atapuerca, in Ages.
We decide to skip the usual pilgrim meal and eat pizza at the restaurant down the street from our albergue. Pizza in Spain? Yep, we’ve seen it here and there. And no it’s not a tapas pizza or an olive-only kind of thing, just regular boring but always satisfying pizza.
After dinner, we walk to the small church where we are able to ring the bell. Well, we think we are allowed to. I’ll let you know if the townspeople come looking for us!