Camino Day 25: Villanueva de Campeán to Zamora

The albergue emptied out rather quickly this morning as all were excited about the short hike (18km/11 miles) into the walled city of Zamora. It's funny how distances like these become negligible when one averages between 30 and 40km each day. But, as expected, there are always those who do more and those who do …

Camino Day 24: Calzada de Valdunciel to Villanueva de Campeán

Stereotypes be damned, our German bunk mates were not very punctual this morning. So, as usual, Mikey counted it as a win since he was not the last to set out this morning. This was the creek over which we crossed this morning. As it was just 7:30 am, we caught a beautiful sunrise that …

Camino Day 23: Salamanca to Calzada de Valdunciel

As we've mentioned before, one of the hardest parts of staying in a private room at a hotel is leaving it behind. So, instead of waking early to beat the AM bathroom rush, we hit snooze and relaxed knowing that there was no competition for sinks or whatnot this morning. Yes, we packed most of …

Camino Day 21: Fuenterroble de Salvatierra to Morille

We had the option today of taking one of two paths. Practically equal in distance, one led through two towns to our destination while the other climbed up a mountain and had no stops en route to refill on water or food. Given our double day yesterday (and still sore feet), we decided to opt …

Camino Day 20: Aldeanueva del Camino to Fuenterroble de Salvatierra

As we mentioned before, today was to be a "marathon day." By this, we mean exceeding the 42 kilometers that comprise a normal marathon race. Why do this? Well, Mikey got a really good rate on a hotel for our scheduled rest days in Salamanca but forgot to check its cancellation policy prior to booking. …

Camino Day 19: Oliva de Plasencia to Aldeanueva de Camino

What a wonderful night of sleep we had! The beds were so comfortable and Mikey barely noticed anyone else in the room. As a very diplomatic pilgrim put it, "Oh, Mikey, you're a very light snorer." Hmmm... On our exit, we encountered still more crocheted decorations about the town. Let's just say A for effort …

Camino Day 18: Galisteo to Oliva de Plasencia

We left the walled city of Galisteo in an early morning fog. While not unusual to experience morning fog in these parts, the river crossing and dramatic views of the city played well with it. This is a view from a medieval bridge that spans across the river. Looking back on the city was almost …

Camino Day 16: Casar de Cáceres to Cañaveral

Wow, these pilgrims were on the move this morning! We woke just before 7 am and were the last to leave by 7:30! Although not too proud of our slumber, on a positive note, we noticed this metal sign while turning out the lights in the albergue: Rough translation: "Go, Pilgrim. Go to Santiago. Give …

Camino Day 15: Aldea de Canto to Casar de Cáceres

Maybe we mentioned this before, but Mikey is one of the youngest pilgrims by far on this particular Camino. Now, to be fair, 1) it is prior to Summer break, so most students are still finishing coursework; 2) the Via de la Plata is the longest Camino in Spain, so most young employed persons would …

Camino Day 12: Villafranca de los Barros to Mérida

Thankful for a good night's sleep, we got up at 5:15 am and took a long, hot shower. Now, if you've never done the Camino de Santiago before, this probably doesn't seem like a big deal. However, since pilgrims carry all their gear in a backpack, absolutely no one showers in the morning - otherwise, …

Camino Day 11: Zafra to Villafranca de los Barros

Zafra turned out to be quite a nice town. Our "discovery" of a castle and the eccentric owner of that restaurant made for a fun time. The nuns (even though Mikey has a morbid, albeit totally unsubstantiated, fear of such orders) had offered a very relaxing experience and the hospitalero even shook Mikey's hand and …

Camino Day 10: Fuente de Cantos to Zafra

It rained the entire evening yesterday and all last night, so we cautiously left the convent and decided to go back to the church for a better picture of the tower before heading off into the open countryside. After snapping this image of the bell tower, we walked to a nearby cafe and sat outside …

Camino Day 8: Almadén de la Plata to Monesterio

As Mikey's bed was located right next to the open kitchen, when a grumpy Italian man started rutting about making his breakfast at 6 am, there was little use in many protestations. However, the final straw was when he turned on the kitchen lights at 6:10 - clearly breaking the 10 pm to 7 am …