Day- 22 Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeris

Walked- Today: 6.6 mi/ Camino2022: 143mi

It was a chilly 52F when we left Hornillos at 6:50. We walked over two miles on a gradual incline until getting back to the “ table top”. We stopped all the way up to check the progress of another “flaming” sunrise.

Just before we got to the top, the brilliant sunrise was coloring the rocks and other surfaces red.
…back to the top…

then another mile, before going back down into a steeper but smaller bowl as we passed San Bol, off the trail on the left, a very primitive albergue (no electricity or running water) and then returned to the top.

heading down toward San Bol
back on top

The approach to Hontanas is interesting. After walking several miles or so on top of the meseta, one gets impatient, if not tired, and wonders, “ where’s Hontanas”?

Almost at the entrance of Hontanas, but only the hint of a new bowl to walk into, then a church steeple, and alas, there it is.

Our previous Camino breakfast stop, an albergue (with no name to be found) was open, so we got a table and went inside to a dark building. Apparently they lost power a few minutes before we arrived and were doing their best to serve hungry, thirsty pilgrims that kept coming down the road into the village.

We had croissants, orange juice and pastry and plain coffee with milk and decided to call it a day. We called for a taxi and rode the final 5 miles into Castrojeris.

Castrojeris is one of Jim’s favorites. He began using trekking poles in 2014 and his first set broke on the meseta on the way to Hontanas. We figured he would have to wait until Leon to buy a replacement set. By chance, while in Castrojeris the next day, he saw some poles hanging in the window of a hardware store in the village square but the shop was closed. He made a fairly long walk from our albergue on the edge of town back to the store when it reopened in late afternoon. Luckily the poles were still there and he purchased the set for 39€ and used them for the rest of our walk in 2014. When we got back home, we found that comparable poles cost nearly $150. He has continued to use the same set through 2022, so far, over 1500 miles of Camino. Today the store was closed but Jim looked in the window at what was on display, with fond memories of that joyous day.

the plaza where Jim purchased trekking poles in 2014.

The Camino is getting really crowded the last several days. We think a new wave of pilgrims started September 1 and are now catching up and passing us. The net effect is extra stress on places to stay coupled by pandemic related closures. This became apparent to us as we tried to book places to stay in the coming week. Today we found out that the place we planned to stay tomortow night is permanently closed and no other alternatives were available to reserve.

So after having our main meal in our Hotel Iacobus (which, by the way, is very nice and comfortable) restaurant at 4:00, we got to work and planned our walks for the next 2 weeks and booked rooms for each night to eliminate the concern if not having a place to stay.

the view from our room in Hotel Iacobus, Castrojeris

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