Another good day. I walked 27.5kms. It was about 7kms more than I had wanted! I would have loved an early arrival as it was “high” time to do my domestic chores (get the pun? “high”?). The disadvantage of staying in a hostal is that it does not have facilities for washing clothes, and arriving late in the afternoon at an albergue means that there is no time for clothes to dry. There was a stop at about 13kms, too soon. There was a town at about 20km, but no accommodation. So I settled to walk to Rionegro del Puente at 27.5kms.
When I woke in the morning the two women were also stirring, and in fact left before I even saw them. So I basically had another day on my own. An Austrian couple and an Irish woman did catch up with me when I was having a late breakfast in
Calzadilla de Tera (11kms) just after 10.00am. The Austrians overtook me a couple of hours later – the Irish woman had decided to stay at the previous town – but I caught up with them again when they were having lunch in Villar de Farfon. Although we had been only three in the albergue the previous night, I was told that the night before it was full. I was also told that the albergue in the previous town had a lot of pilgrims. I presumed I would meet some of them in the days to come. And so it happened. In Rionegro we are about 10 pilgrims.
I left just after 7.00am. Here is a view of the early morning walk.
Even though I had only a day and a half in Salamanca and Zomora, it felt strange to be walking again. This was for several reasons:
1. Terrain: The terrain was different. It was no longer the high country through which I had passed earlier, nor the plains through which I had passed after the Pico de la Duena to Salamanca, and then on the bus to Zamora and beyond. It was somewhere in between, more undulating.
2. Flora: The plants were different. There were stands of ash trees (as in the photo), which looked very attractive. There was also some market gardening in plots along the river.
3. Direction: The direction had changed. After Zamora, on the bus, I had left the Via de la Plata and turned westwards on the Camino Sanabres.
It was a sunny day, little cloud cover, very still, so quite hot. But the walking was pleasant enough. I especially enjoyed the greenery of the trees.
I passed La Barca (6km) in regulation time around 9.00 am.
I continued on to Calzadilla de Tera (5km), which I passed just over an hour later.
I had late breakfast at Olleros de Tera (2km) half an hour later.
At one stage in the morning the camino path followed alongside an irrigation canal.
This tree in full bloom caught my attention.
During the early part of the morning, I had followed the River Tera, enjoying the greenery alongside the river. But as the morning went on, the path moved away from the river. It went through more what I would call “bush”. But the wild flowers were in bloom.
Here is another tree in bloom.
After a snack from my backpack (apple, banana, slice of cake) in Villar de Farton around 2.00pm, I continued on for another 6.5kms. It was quite hot, a dirt track through the bush, until eventually I came over a rise and Rionegro del Puente was in sight.
I arrived there at 4.00 pm, settled into the albergue, did my washing, had a shower, had a meal, and hope to attend Mass.
At this particular point in my pilgrim journey, having arrived at Rionegro del Puente, I am just under 300 kms to Santiago.
At 20kms per day, it will take 15 days.
At 25 kms per day, it will take 12 days.
The bus ride in one day only from Salamanca to Santa Marta de Tera instead of two days saved me an extra day.
To meet my flight commitments, I need to be in Santiago on or around the 24th of May, so I have in fact 14 days to get there, which will allow for a rest day or two if needed, or shorter days if the path is particularly difficult.
With good health, good weather, good luck, and God’s blessing, I should be able to complete the Camino, having walked 1,000 kms. Please continue to remember me in your prayers as I head westwards towards my destination in the coming fortnight.