Villamayor de Monjardin to Los Arcos – 12 Kms, 18,314 steps
After a poor night, but without banging my head again, I left Oasis Trails at dawn. The path headed downhill gently, for a change.
Dawn is a fine time to begin a day’s walk, but some pilgrims like to get out sooner if their day will be long and/or hot weather is promised. They strap on a headlamp to let them see the path and Camino way markers and head out in the dark. In October, I’ll probably do the same, as dawn is coming later and later.
Today’s Camino segment wound through farm fields, mostly flat or downhill, with temps in the 60s and a nice cloud cover. Really ideal hiking conditions, and we were treated to a pretty dawn display on the clouds.
About an hour along, a small police jeep cruised by me on the farm road I was walking on. The officers waved hello and continued on. That’s the first time I’ve seen anything that looks like cops patrolling the Camino, and I’m glad they are. I occasionally read online about solo female pilgrims being flashed by local nutjobs, and a police presence of any kind must be reassuring to those pilgrims.
Today’s route was 12 Kms, without any towns along the way. The Brierley guidebook indicates a spot where a cafe movil (food truck) can usually be found along the Camino but it’s not something you can depend on. It’s smarter to bring along some food, just in case. Which is what I did this morning and, sure enough, no food truck. However, some magic of the downhill terrain or my deep desired to get away from Oasis Trails or something, got me to Los Arcos in very quick time – about three hours.
This put me in Los Arcos way too early to check into my next accomodation, a pension (1-star hotel), even with its earlier-than-most noon check-in time. So I cooled my heels over a cafe con leche and a pastry in the main square and caught up on email and blog posts.
In what was a weird Camino moment, I finished writing my blog posts about last night’s horrible albergue, put my backpack on, and left the square to go to my lodging. I rounded a corner and came face-to-face with two of the people who run last night’s horrible lodging. Yes, hours away in Los Arcos. They recognized me and said hello as we passed. Cue Rod Serling…
I’ve now completed the Pilgrim Ritual: shower, lunch, and laundry, and am heading back to the square in a bit for some Sangria and chat. Tomorrow is a longer walk of 18 Kms to Viana.