Day 15: Catrojeriz to Fromista aka Restart

It was nice to start the day off early, and I am feeling more like myself. But unfortunately our albergue didn’t have any gluten-free options for breakfast. We decided to get breakfast at a bar in town, but of course they were not open at 7:30 AM and it was 12 km to the next town. Oh well, I I thought... It will water for brekky. In addition to the lack of calories, we didn’t realize we would have to scale a huge hill. Karma for skipping out on walking 40k? I will say arriving at the top in time for the sunrise was something unbelievable. To top that off, there was a pop-up bar with coffee, bananas and other items. It was hosted by a guy named Javier, who speaks Greek! He overhead my mom and I talking (luckily we didn’t say anything too awful), and inquired within. He said he was confused because my mom looks Greek, but I apparently don’t? #someonepeedinmygenepool Anyway, he was a sweetheart. Turns out he had met his ex-girlfriend a few years back while traveling in Greece. They fell in love and he decided to move to Greece. He lived there for a year, but became homesick and had a bunch of projects going on here. So, he decided to end the relationship and head back to Spain. Now he has a Spanish gf.

Meanwhile, he still speaks the language and has friends that live in Greece, thus frequents the country quite often. He told us that he rarely meets Greeks completing the Camino. My mom was stoked and kept referring to him as an angel, while I was just stoked to have coffee and some calories in my system. Long live pop up bars on the Camino, seriously.

The descent was not easy on the joints, but we managed at the time, only to have to pay for it later. We sat down for breakfast at the first place we spotted, and saw people we knew including all of our friends from dinner last night. It felt like a really long day, but the walk was gorgeous. It really feels like fall. The leaves have changed colors, and it’s quite picturesque. A negative is that there were bunch of flies and mosquitos on the trail. Shout out to Laurie for the awesome mosquito cream! When we finally hobbled into our final destination in Fromista, 17 miles later, we went straight to our albergue (Canal de Castilla), next to the train station.

To our dismay, our backpacks hadn’t arrived. The owner, Tanya is something else. She communicates by yelling, and I swear I felt like I was on Candid Camera. I guess the company we were using for backup services has stopped transporting backpacks at Burgos.  Thinking quickly, I asked that the owner of the previous albergue in Castrojeriz to have our backpacks sent to the next town we will be walking to tomorrow, Carrion de los Condos. It was insanity to have it all straightened out, as Tanya was having to deal with other peregrinos requiring her attention, and some of her friends congregating. At one point she got into a yelling match with another Spaniard, who was saying €30 was too much for a triple room. Meanwhile, she was begging him to head to the municipal albergue where he’d have to pay the exact same and sleep amongst the snoring and farting pigs. He ultimately decided to stay. It was more than a couple of hours later before we got into our room. The room was tiny and the bathroom/shower shared the same space. You’d essentially shower on top of the toilet. Without clothes to change into, we opted out. I suppose that’s what you get for a €30 stay.

After dropping off our day packs, we wanted a snack and headed into town. There we ran into a couple of friends, including Alban. We were surprised, thinking he would be way ahead, as he said his intention was to walk another 40k today. In this bar, we spotted a computer. First time we’ve ever seen a computer for public use, outside the library. What ever happened to Internet cafes? Were they ever a thing here? To be researched later, I suppose. Alban told us that he decided against walking another 19 km, when he got lost for 10k and saw that his socks were stained with blood. I’m glad he decided to stop. We sat down with him, and had a pretty deep conversation where he opened up to us about his past, and why he is really doing this. The negatives led to talking about his future dreams and goals, and everything he has to look forward to as a handsome, smart, funny 22 y/o. He plans to become s psychologist with all that he has experienced, and I know he will make a great one. He also said the camino has inspired him to start singing again, which I was stoked to hear. At the end of our heart-to-heart, he offered to make us a French meal from scratch, but we had already purchased tickets to eat ah our albergue for €10 each.

When we walked back into our albergue, the owners and friends were watching videos of bull chasing and having a jolly ol’ time. Due to the backpack mishap, everyone new me by my first name and begged me to join in the fun. I guess the videos are kind of funny? I still feel bad for the bulls. It wasn’t until other pilgrims arrived for dinner than they actually took the whole serving something to eat seriously. The meal was mas o menos, and went a little sour when the owner’s friend tried asking if I was interested in the owners son. I told her that I have a boyfriend and it appeared as though all of the smiles were turned upside down. Oh well… Our room is freezing (currently 32F) and I’m not sure how I’m going to warm myself up. Luckily, it’s only 19 k to our next destination tomorrow, because currently both knees are hurtin’.