Pauline Pootles around Europe travel blog

John still sleeps....

... After everyone in the albergue has clear

We notice an interesting old column in the town

The sun rises behind us as we leave town

We follow a canal to Fromista

And come to a stepped lock just outside Fromista

Closure sign at bank as both staff went for coffee

John's huge bacon and eggs breakfast with my tortilla in background

Arrows out of Fromista ensured we were on the path

Even road signs

John loitering on a corner of a small town

We pass through more grain country

With above ground irrigation systems

Grain dispersal system in a tiny village

J-C found Monique's lost wallet in her pack

She couldn't understand where it had gone. They backtracked for nothing!

At last, the end of a long hot track. Building ahead!

We find a hand water pump there and I happily fill up

Walking on to the next town we see pilgrims in hammocks. Under...

We pass a little pilgrim statue in the town

But quickly leave the town for another hot walk

The last 7km is next to an undulating road

Which hasn't seen rain for a while

In Carrion we stopped at the first albergue we found

Happened to be a 15C monastery.

The monastery

We liked the feel of the place

John comes through the entrance

And heads for his bunk. Bingo.. Only 3 of us in this...

One of the squares in Carrion, early evening

Lots of narrow streets

My yummy mixed salad 1st course. 8 vegetables!!


Overview

Started off early and saw the sun rise. We tried to mis the hot part of the day but we're not really successful. Went through a lot of dry flat countryside ( the meseta) where there were above ground irrigation channels to many of the fields. Grain had been harvested and there were some lucerne and sunflower crops. After following the canal we stopped in Fromista for breakfast in a bar. Great music playing at 8:30am and locals ordering red wine with their breakfast! Went to the ATM across the road at the bank and saw the 2 employees coming out of the bank to have coffee. They closed the bank (they were already within the bank opening hours ) and put up a sign... closed, back in a few minutes. We never saw them return and we were there for quite a while. Spanish way of life!

Whilst in the bar Jean-Claude and Monique arrived but we had to get food for lunch from the supermarket so we left.

The temperature in the morning wasn't too bad and we had a breeze. Passed through a couple of quite poor villages but lots of long straight treeless stretches that seem longer than they are...especially as it was heating up.

Caught up with J-C and Monique at lunch in a little park with a kiosk in a tiny town. They were finishing and left. Unfortunately the kiosk was closed for 'personal reasons' so there was nothing to eat or drink. No water in the park either. Luckily we had bought food at the supermarket!!

The afternoon walk was hot and without a breeze. And quite a long way to go. Eventually left the path for a road to follow the rest of the way. About 10km. Stopped at a church like building as there was a hand water pump and shade. But water tasted dodgey. So kept it just in case until the next town which had nice water. Filled up and it was a long slog to Carrion, our evening stop. John paced it out well but in he heat his water was low and eventually ran out. Luckily I had some to share.

Met some French women and a Swiss woman whom we see from time to time, and JC and Monique waiting at the outskirts. We had found a scarf which she'd dropped, and we recognised it so we were able to give it to her. She was so happy as she uses it for sun protection.

We stopped at the first albergue we came across as it was a 15th Century monastery. Looked inside and it was nice... And virtually empty. At €5 we knew we had a bargain. Only one other man in our large cool room. Plenty of showers etc. great.

John immediately fell asleep on the bed and I showered and changed. When I returned he was shivering. No good!! I gave him a blanket. We assessed it as moderate dehydration and so he drank slowly and slept on and off for ages. Eventually showered and with all the water he was then back to life and perfectly OK. Except the open blister on his foot. We walked (he limped) to a pharmacy just before it closed. It was getting late and starting to get dark. We found a supermarket for food tomorrow and an additional bottle of water as we knew the first 17km was going to be hot and nowhere to fill water. Quickly had dinner at a bar before hurrying back to the albergue before it closed at 11pm. We arrived closer to 10:15pm and had trouble unlocking the main door. Momentary panic! Did it close at 10 like all the others?? We were sure she'd said 11!! Eventually John succeeded with the key. All lights out and everyone sleeping. We made it into bed as quietly as possible before a 6am start tomorrow !!

Route

Via a canal to Fromista. Then along side a road for a few kms. We took the alternative route that ran by a river more or less for

Distance

28km. Total 92km

Weather

Hot. Especially in the afternoon

Breakfast

In Fromista after walking 6km.

Tortilla. (p)

Yoghurt (p)

Fresh orange juice x2

Coffee x2

Ham and eggs (j)

Lunch

Picnic along the way

Dinner

€11 pp

Pauline

- huge mixed salad, (8 veges plus egg plus tuna)

- grilled fish and chips

John

- bean soup with chorizo

- meat stew and chips

We skipped dessert even though it was included in price. We were full and had to get back to hostel.

As much of a bottle of red wine as we wished (only felt like one glass)

John had a beer that they gave free !

Accommodation

Santa Clara monastery

€5 pp.

washing machine €3.50

Highlights

Finding the lovely monastery albergue

Carrion is a really nice town

Lowlights

Hard hot day with John becoming moderately dehydrated - but all ok!

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