Camino Day 29: Rionegro del Puente to Asturianos

We slept a little late today since the cafe didn’t open until 8 am and Mikey really needed coffee today.

Many Camino towns have various displays of pilgrim-related art. A lot of it is by local artists and approved by local councils. Most of it is pretty bad.

The weather also appeared to be really bad and we were kicking ourselves for not skipping the coffee and just leaving earlier. True, today would only be 26km (about 5 hours), but we didn’t want to walk that in the rain.

Luckily, when it did start sprinkling, we were sheltered by a tree canopy for quite some distance through the forest. Mikey is pretty excited about the forested areas through which we will begin to walk as we near Galicia, but, having walked a mostly flat Camino, he is a bit apprehensive about the coming hills.

We have noticed how wet Castile y Leon is. Like much of northern Spain, rivers and creeks are abundant and one never tires of listening to the babbling brooks. (Oh, and the sky was quite clear at times.)

As we neared our destination, we passed through several towns that had no shops or cafes. Instead, they were seemingly void of any village life and sported only two things of interest – a church and a water fountain.

This particular church stood out due to its unique bell tower staircase. Mikey wanted to climb it, but the stairs seemed a bit dodgy.

While not as structurally interesting as the previous church, this one was sporting what appeared to be Buddhist prayer flags. Talk about hedging your bets.

We also encountered a new type of wildflower that seems to grow throughout this part of Spain. Again, botany is definitely not our friend, but we can appreciate it whatever its name.

Mikey wanted to include this picture from above the freeway to remind you how little we actually travel each day. Yes, a 26km walk through the woods takes a better part of the day, but popping out along the same autopista at the end of the day reminds us how fast life can be and why the slow pace of the Camino can put a lot of things in perspective.

Having crossed above the freeway, we returned to the open countryside and saw these horses grazing in a field. There was a small ditch, but that was all that separated us from them.

Oh, and Mikey was a bit worried about this butterball. Is it natural for a horse’s veins to stick out like that around its stomach? Just wondering.

This and the second course of Steak with French Fries will probably have a similar swelling effect on Mikey, but kudos for a new-found dish – Sautéed Bacon and Artichoke Hearts. (It’ll probably be a salad night after this lunch.)

Well, we did arrive at the town of Asturianos after a late start and even an hour’s break during which we booked some hotels and train tickets for our post-Camino wanderings. Still, Mikey was the 6th pilgrim to arrive at the albergue and the last to get an actual bed. The next 10 pilgrims were allowed to stay but slept on mats in a hallway. (Yes, he did offer his top bunk an older pilgrim, but she declined, stating that the closer to the ground the better at her age!) Speaking of beds, it’s probably time to find ours. Buenas noches.