Day 17 Hornillos – Castrojeriz

Day 17 and disaster strikes!! Up to this point I have climbed mountains, forded raging torrents (skipped across a stream or two), hiked through snow and rain but today nearly broke me.. I ran out of cigarettes.. and the nearest shop? 11km away.

I decided to ditch my usual ‘back of the group’ position and forge ahead at what can only be described as a breakneck pace. The morning passed in a blur, there may have been hills but I failed to notice as I pushed onward to Hontanas. The village of the fabled cigarette vending machine. I have passed many shrines in the last two weeks but none bolstered my faith as much as the Machina del cigarillos..

A photo to show the change in terrain now that we have entered la meseta.. no hills just kilometres of nearly flat trail, nice on the legs but very draughty today with nowhere offering respite from an icy wind.

Hontanas was a pleasant enough village. We grabbed a sandwich and a coffee in a bar and I smoked several cigarettes while the rest of the team pushed on (leaving me to take up my usual place at the back of the group)

Jessie and I walked together past San Antón, the ruins of the monestary straddling the road and worthy of a photo or two.

And then onward for the final 3km into Castrojeriz where we met up with Randy, Susan and Max.

The albergue Rosalia was tonight’s choice and we all agreed it was a good place. No bunk beds meant no death-defying climbs down rickety ladders for a middle of the night loo visit. The roaring fire and Oak-beamed ceiling all added to the cosy feel. (Plus there was the comedy value of watching Randy cracking his head on a low slung beam, quite possibly the highlight of the day)

Another day done and there is talk of a 25km day tomorrow.. I’m hoping common sense will kick in and we can lose 5 or 10km from the plan but I guess I’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

7 thoughts on “Day 17 Hornillos – Castrojeriz

  1. So cool. Best you stock up on ciggies for the meseta. Sad to see you still in cold, was hoping u were in warmer tropical climate by now. I’m hanging out to get my shorts on. (sick if these black pants I’ve had on for 10 days)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s meant to be warming up from tomorrow so I’d get those shorts ironed and ready to go if I were you 😊


  2. Now, Andy, you had me laughing almost hysterically with your rapid change of pace and streaking ahead in search of the weed. I recognise the situation. Cold turkey about a year and a half ago. It was my time. Keep puffing. A Camino lesson you will never forget. Never get caught short again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t do too many long days, amigo. You will finish too quickly and I will miss your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Laird here—friend of Randy’s, or so I claim. Hi to Randy and team tortoise. You folks are an inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks pal. I’ll let randy know you said hi. He reads the blog anyway because he likes to know what he’s been up to that day.. (it’s like I’m his online carer)


  5. Allowing yourself to run out of cigarettes? Your countryman Lord Baden-Powell would be mortified. I hope you’re sufficiently chastened and have learned your lesson. Besides, how much can an extra carton weigh? Plus, you’ll be prepared to act as Camino Angel next time some hot young chick comes up to you and says: “Give us a fag, I’m gaspin’!”

    Liked by 1 person

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