Camino – Day 12
This has been a lovely, interesting, and varied sort of day, with several surprises along the way. I stepped out of my very comfortable alberge in Villafranca Montes de Oca decked out in my rain gear and headed up the path (with “up” being the operative word – the first several kilometers proceeded along a moderately steep course). The temperature was cool but not cold, and the rain was light and didn’t last long. There was a steady wind out of the southwest, so I left my rain gear on even after the rain stopped just to offset the breeze. The Camino carried me up through a forest largely made up of various varieties of oak trees. The perigrinos gradually spread out and soon I found myself walking mostly alone through the trees. The first stretch lasted for about 12km before passing through the first pueblo. But several kilometers before that first pueblo the day’s first surprise emerged. “Oasis del Camino” is a delightful and colorful art installation laid out on both sides of the path. The colors and unexpected display left me smiling for several kilometers. The pueblo of San Juan de Ortega came and went, and then on through the trees the path continued. The next surprise arrived within minutes of leaving the pueblo – two horses grazing quietly next to the path, completely unfazed by my presence. And on I walked into the sweet little pueblo of Ages (un pueblo con encanto). After a stop for a late breakfast/early lunch the Camino called me on. Several more kilometers and it was time to rid myself of the rain gear, which felt delicious. From there the path took me by fields of sunflowers that were still glowing yellow in the sun, and then by some neolithic standing stones at Atapuerca. The day’s walk concluded by taking me up and over one final ridge, and then down into the pueblo of Cardeñuela Riopico, where I landed at the lovely alberge of Santa Fe. After settling in and taking a quick shower (which always manages to restore me) I am ready for an evening of food and rest. Another very good day! Buen Camino.
Here is a link to photos from today: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pHMQuckRHNvyZhBHA