Grimaldo to Galisteo

Today’s stage was at least 19.7kms. Luckily, walking today was easier, as I seemed to hit my stride.

I was among the last to leave the albergue in the morning, getting under way at 7.30. A young French couple were still asleep. On the edge of the town I met a pilgrim coming from another direction. He had left Canaveral that morning, at least 8kms away, so must have left in the dark.

The day ahead:

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Another clear, sunny day. There was little wind, though the occasional cooling breeze was appreciated. The morning terrain was gradually down hill from the height to which we had ascended the previous day. The afternoon terrain was flatter, along the plain, ending with some undulating ground as I neared my destination.

I passed the 80 year old Frenchman. Then a couple of Germans and a Frenchmen who are usually leaders of the pack caught up with me. They had stayed in another place and must have had a later start than the rest of us. They rested while I went on, but they never overtook me for the rest of the day, which was a big surprise. I guessed rightly that they had taken a different path. I followed the current arrows, but they followed an “older” path. I ended up doing a long walk along the shoulder of the road. They did a shorter walk through countryside. When I arrived at destination, those who had taken the shorter route were already settled, including the 80 year old Frenchman.

Here’s a view of the valley into which I descended in the late morning. The day’s destination is off to the right.

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Having crossed the Riolobo and passed the village of the same name, my way followed the shoulder of the macadam road, across a flat, hot, plain. It was not the most interesting walk! However, I noted that the local farmers were not relying on the rain to fall on this particular plain in Spain (a la My Fair Lady). They had set up irrigation. The following photo is not technically all that interesting, but shows the irrigation set up and pumping out water for the first time, either before but probably after sowing some crop.

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It gives an impression of the flat, hot, dry plain which I traversed.

Earlier in the day I had seen my destination from the height of the hill from which I had come down, and it didn’t look too far away, but as the morning wore on into afternoon, and the road continued ahead of me, the occasional arrows confirming that I was on the right path, I could hear the adult in me fretting, “I hope I haven’t by-passed it”, “I hope I haven’t bypassed it”. And I could hear the child in me, “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?”

As I passed a final rise, I was relieved to see the town hove into sight. Galisteo is a walled town. It is quite a surprise to find a “modern” town completely walled in. The walls and gates have been restored to encircle the town.

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I found the albergue, did my washing and hung it out to dry, had a shower, then had a quick look inside the walls. I thought the town looked a bit run down! But there are newer sections outside the walls. Here’s the King’s Gate, which will give you a sense of the stone walls of the town.

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I had a late lunch (starting at four), using the wifi facilities at the restaurant to update the blog for the last three days.

Another stroll up to the town later, then an early night in readiness for the day ahead.

Ultreia!! To the northwards!!

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