It was a dark grey day in Kaslo BC. Most of the stores were closed up for the season, in the windows were signs “see you May 2016.” We walked the quiet streets, checking out the store windows, when we came across this old building roof, floor, and and windows gone, it was covered with graffiti, the yellows and blues a perfect foible for the environment.
We arrived in Astorga Spain after a 21k walk, it was a beautiful day, perfect for walking with temperatures between about 10 degrees C and 22 degrees C. sunshine and a slight breeze. At Astorga the camino route we have been travelling meets up with a route from Seville Spain, and the accommodations are getting harder to get. We have been staying in private albergues or pensions and it looks like we will have to start booking 2 or 3 days in advance to ensure a place to sleep.
Each day along the walk we have been treated to public art related to the camino, perigrines and the way of St. James, and at Astorga we visited the Cathedral, the Cathedral Museum and the Gaudi’s Palace Gardens.
Day 14, our journey found us travelling to Belorado, about 24 k under cloudy skies, the mist hung in the air, warm about 18C it felt like it would rain. About noon the skies cleared temperatures quickly reached mid 20’s C. during our final hour or walking.
We arrived in Belorado about 2:30 pm and found the Pension Verdeancho where we had made a reservation. It was a lovely stone building, log beams in the ceiling, and a lovely veranda out front. The best part – the softest bed we have slept in since leaving home! On the camino simple pleasures like a comfortable bed and a good nights sleep become important. I realize as I type this that a good night sleep is always important, but I am lucky and at home it is a common occurrence. So common I have taken it for granted, until now!
Belorado Spain is a quaint little town, some of the buildings are closed up, some have fallen in to disrepair, but the central plaza was a hive of activity in the early evening as we sat at one of the out-door cafes and had dinner. I say early evening, because on the camino Bill and I are often sound asleep by 9:30 or 10 pm, as our morning walk starts about 7 – 7:30 am, and with 20 – 25 kilometres to travel sleep is essential.
Day 15, September 22 we left Belorado and once again we missed a camino marker, once again we had not travelled very far when someone called out to us, turned us around, and sent us on in the right direction! Once on the correct path out-of-town we travelled past several walls that had been painted with camino murals, we had seen some murals before, not as many in one spot before, or as elaborate as those in Belorado.
From Bolorado we walked through past several villages, stopping once for coffee, then up into the pine forest, to San Juan de Ortega. 23.6 k While most days we carry lunch with us, today it was essential, there is a 12k stretch through the forest with only a picnic area to rest at. A long, hilly, forest truck road, very quiet place to walk.
San Juan de Ortega is a very small community of about 20 people, is dominated by the church and the monastery. We pick, or I should say, we happened into San Juan Ortega on a very interesting day, September 22, the fall solstice each year a ray of sunlight enters the church at twilight, a tiny beam of light illuminating the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, sculpted in stone at the top of the pillar. People for all over travel to the church this day, several tour buses arrived, and the plaza filled with people.
Yesterday Sept 23, 2012, day 16, we walked into Burgos Spain. We have travelled about 286 kilometres, 15 days. For the most part the weather has been good, people have been friendly and helpful, and we are enjoying the trip. today, day 17, Sept 24, 2012 we are taking a day off to see the attractions of Burgos.
The beautiful street art reminds me that, hopefully spring is just around the corner. While it could be almost another month before we see the trees blooming I am looking forward to the spring bulbs like crocus, tulips and daffodiffs.
Haiku, Flowers of spring