Page 4 of dougfitz Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » Castile & León April 16th 2010

Notebook Entry The notebook today is more interesting for the things that aren´t going to get a mention than for those that did! Today was an unforgetable, forgetable day. There was nothing particularly grand, but many small moments where everything was in its proper place and time. There was the bird song in the early morning, and the help given to get my rain cover on my pack when it started to rain, and even the rain itself. It was interesting to think that when there are no options, walking in the rain and listening to its constant tapping on one´s rainhood can be peaceful and tranquil too.... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile & León April 15th 2010

Notebook Entry Early departure from Fromista and had a little difficulty finding the way out of the town. Raining for much of the way to Villasirga. I had taken the river road, and had storm pants on to keep the wind out. Long straight stretch of senda into Carrion de los Condes. Chose to stay in a hostel which offered a bath. One needed to have been trained as a magician´s assistant to get into it, but it was delightful just the same. Nice menu tipico (typical regional meal) at a local restaurant. ... read more
Emerita Virgen del rio
Emerita Virgen del rio
Carrion de los Condes

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Palencia April 14th 2010

Notebook Entry Early morning departure after being woken early in the common room. Descent out of Castrojeriz then fairly steep ascent onto the mesata. Bitter wind and had fully regalia on for most of day into Fromista. After Itero de la Vega another, slower climb to the Tierra de Campos, and then steep descent before a relatively flat walk into Boadilla del Camino. Picked up beanie on way in - turned out it belonged to Nik, one of the young women from Cairns. Long flat walk along the Canal de Castilla. Close to Fromista, Orla and some of the other young ones began catching up at the end of the canal stage. She was able to recover some credibility for the Irish! ... read more
Alto Mostelares
Alto Mostelares

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos April 13th 2010

Knee problems Today´s walk was mostly over fair to good farm road, and some minor sealed road coming into Castrojeriz. Had a pleasant early morning walk into Hontanas following breakfast at the albergue at San Bol. Leaving Hontanas, I slipped and jarred my knee. Slow and painful walk then for the remainder of the way to Castrojeriz, where I decided to call it a day rather than press on. Despite this, there was a bright moment. I was a little way past San Anton, a ruin, and saw three older women walking towards the road I was on. They were all rugged up and just appeared to be out for a stroll. They arrived at the intersection, turned and came walking up towards me. I thought they were about to pass, but they stopped, and one ... read more
Near Hontanas
San Anton
San Anton

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos April 12th 2010

Notebook Entry Plan was to go to Hontanos, as guidebook stated San Bol albergue only open from May. Didn´t quite work that way. Leaving Burgos was a much more pleasant walk than the entry the previous day. Wind became bitter about two hours into walk, and I progressively rugged up to be the Michelin Man. Spent rest of day trying to get layering right. Long climb from Rabe onto the mesata, and rugged up all the way at Fuente de Pratorre - a font in name only as it was dry. Big lunch at Hornillos, then walked to San Bol. Wind really up and walking with pack getting quite difficult, so I decided to take the chance on the albergue being open. An extra couple of hundred metres if it wasn´t, and a better night if ... read more
Rabe de las Calzados
Meseta landscape
Meseta landscape

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos April 11th 2010

Notebook Entry This was a mixed day of rural walking leaving Atapuerca and a long slog around the airport and then the suburbs to get into Burgos. Getting out of Atapuerca passed a penned up flock of sheep with one lone ewe on the outside of the fence, wanting to get in. Long climb to top of ridgeline, then down into the Burgos valley. Couple of delightful small villages - strange combination of ruins and new construction. Burgos very busy especially in evening. Visited cathedral - made up for the long slog. It is magnificent, both in its basic structure and the chapels that have been added over time. Albergue was near the cathedral. Used the private albergue with about 20 places, so was generally pretty quiet and well behaved.... read more
N1 near Villafria
Burgos Cathedral
Burgos Cathedral

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos April 10th 2010

Reveille and breakfast I had woken about 0600, but had been warned that guests weren´t to rise before 0700. So I quietly tidied up and waited. While one might have argued about the precise timing, at a few minutes to seven, there was a reveille played into the bedrooms. It was not so much that I expected it, but it wasn´t unexpected. Reveille was followed by a range of motivational music, and breakfast was at 0730 - pronto. A Boring, Difficult Morning According to my guidebook, this morning would bring three long, hard climbs. What it didn´t say was that it would also bring some short savage climbs in and out of creeklines, and two very long stretches of broken up forestry track. The intermediate destination was San Juan de Ortega, and by the time I ... read more
On the Camino
On the Camino
On the Camino

Europe » Spain » La Rioja April 9th 2010

Leaving Granon There seems to be a bit of a ritual in the smaller albergue where cena y desayuno (dinner & breakfast) are part of the service that there is a slow start to the morning, or at least an ordered start. Compared to albergue who do not provide breakfast, where there is a bit of a free for all starting about 0630 as the early starters get away. At Granon, the Italian hostel keeper had breakfast at the table when I went up, and clearly did not expect people to wait to gather. Rather, we each ate and then prepared to leave. I was on the road shortly after 0800. The day was pleasant walking, with some familiar faces along the road as we passed and stopped, passed and stopped. Late in the day, the ... read more
Granon at Dawn
With the Korean Trio

Europe » Spain » La Rioja April 8th 2010

A day in the country Entering larger towns in the afternoon can be a bit of a pain, as can leaving them in the morning if, as was the case in Logrono, it takes an hour or more to get clear of the urban edges, light industrial areas and surrounding wasteland. So leaving Najera was a delight. The exit is a pass in the cliffs, and once through that a days walking in quite farmland lay ahead. How delightful a prospect. Today was overcast, but it didn´t really show any serious sign of rain. The wind came up mid morning, and had a distinct chill, but was not as unpleasant as the bitter winds of yesterday. The roads were generally good, although not universally so, but one could keep a steady pace. So overall, it made ... read more
Santo Domingo de Calzada

Europe » Spain » La Rioja » Logroño April 7th 2010

Watching the Weather After the brilliant weather yesterday, getting from Logrono to Najera became a real problem almost from the start. I started out in a fleece, but it began to drizzle so I changed it for my rain jacket. An hour later, I was feeling quite miserable with cold, and clearly not maintaining my body temperature very well. So time for another change and a bite to eat. The fleece went back on top, storm pants and I replaced my walking cutoff gloves with both liner and outer gloves. Other than removing the outer gloves later in the morning, I was like this until lunchtime. Even then, only the storm pants came off. This used all the classic layers that I have, so it will be interesting to see how I will cope if I ... read more

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