|Akina on the moody wet hilltop in her jacket|
|The horse in his makeshift shelter|
It was damp but pleasant and the way, although not blessed with a lot of markers was easy to follow. It was quite windy as we headed up on
the rolling hills and it started to rain, however, it was one of those wonderful days where you feel protected by wearing the right gear and joyful at the freshness of the air and being out in the elements. I was warm, Akina was warm and when dressed and prepared for this kind of weather it makes the best walking. For me I far prefer it to walking in the heat of the day and my first choice of Camino walking weather is always cooler rather than warmer. Give me
October to January any time, in fact I have had some of my best walks in November and December. Akina, who previously would have been hunched and cold (and this has caused her to cramp her back muscles in the past) was trotting out confidently and with pure joy in her jacket. I thought again how delighted I was with them and how glad I was that I had made the investment. Even the horse we passed up on one of the hilltops was quite happy munching on hay in his makeshift shelter and there were plenty of chickens keeping him company. I decided to take a couple of movie clips from the morning as they really give a feel for what it is like to walk in this weather and for you to see how joyful we felt about the day. It really was one of those that just makes you smile - you don't need the sun to be shining to have a great day! It is what it is when you are walking the Camino and the energy is of your own making.
The next video clip is at a rather jaunty angle (!) but don't mind that - it still works and shows Akina enjoying the day's walk too. The storm actually blew over and we never did get the threatened thunder. As we neared the town of Siete Iglesias de Trabancos (we only saw one although the guide says you can see all 7 poking their various towers above the town?!)... Michael had found a gas station on the old part of the camino route and here we stopped for a "slap up breakfast" of chorizo sausage and egg! Mmmmm! It was just what I fancied in the cold morning and set me up nicely for the next part of the walk. Hot water also meant that I could get out my Earl Grey teabag supply and have a proper cuppa with breakfast! You see - I said it was a perfect day!
|Routes and hostals...|
Before getting to Siete Iglesias the route follows the one I have marked here on the map, although in the guidebook for some reason, it gives you two options - one is the one I have marked with "x's" although it is not marked with yellow arrows.
|Footprints in the sands of time!|
|Coming into Castronuño with|
the scallop shell on the
|Long view from dining room and kitchen toward the|
|Kitchen - well equipped|
|Our room - the rose room|
|Looking back toward the kitchen|
from the lounge area - the little
breakfast bar on the right
has teas (Earl Grey!!) and home made
The decor in the cottage is perfection and the attention to detail astonishing. This is definitely the most wonderful and beautiful place that I have stayed in Spain.
|The dogs in their residence near the radiator|
in the dining area
The place is called Las Alamedas and there is a website www.beautifulalamedas.com.
To top off the day, at Castronuño I got the best sello of my trip so far - a scallop shell from the ayuntamiento.
As I had planned a shorter walk for the day in order to take the opportunity to enjoy the place, we were able to put our feet up, read, have a long soak in the bath and do all our washing in the machine and get it dry ready for the next day - which was due to be another wet and windy one! A good nights sleep would be possible in the wonderfully warm and comfortable beds, there was breakfast (and cake to take with us) and I was able to start the walk right from the front door.
|The most fabulous shell sello - from Castronuño ayuntamiento. It is in the new passport, the one|
now specifically issued for El Camino Levante!