I left this morning at 8 am. I did not sleep well at all. The windows and doors of the “Albergue” were closed last night, and it was very hot and “stuffy”. I also had a minor bout of “diarrhea”, which did not help matters at all !!!.
The result I think of a “dodgy” meal, at a roadside “Cafe/ Bar”, in the afternoon. I was reluctant to take “Imodium” on an empty stomach, so decided to leave it. I am ever the “optimist” !!!
As I left, I took a “photo” of a stalks nest “perched” on top of a pylon, outside the “Albergue”. They really are remarkable birds !!!
I “bumped” into Gerald at a Cafe in “Montamarta”. I had a quick “Cafe con Leche”, then walked with him for a bit. I took a “photo” of a convent, that over looked the town, and “local”reservoir.
During our walk Gerald told me that, he was 75 years old and that he thought, this would be his last “Camino”. He felt he was getting “slow”. I told him, he was doing remarkably well for a man of his age, and that perhaps he should look at, the “Camino Frances”. There would be more places to stop there !!!.
He told me, that he had been very badly “bitten” by dogs, on the “Camino” in 2013. As we went past a local farm yard, he raised his “stick” and cursed at the dogs behind the fence. They did not seem vicious to me, but having shown me a “photo” of his wounds, I could at least understand, his attitude !!!.
The first part of the walk was not very interesting, and followed the motorway for the most part. It then got better after 7 km, when the reservoir once more appeared. I took a photo of a “Camino” sign, with a “metal wire” pilgrim on top.
It was getting more “hilly” now, and the remains of an old castle appeared. It looked to be of “Roman” origin, but there was no “plaque” or description anywhere.
I started to get “pains” in my stomach, and I knew another “dash” to the bushes, was coming. It was an isolated area, but very exposed. I did the “necessary”, prayed no cyclist or walker would come by, and felt a huge sense of relief, when it was all over !!!
Around the 12 km mark, I came to the town of “Fontanillas de Castro”. I had been “secretly” hoping that it might be “Riego del Camino”, but in my “heart”, I knew it was not possible. It was way, too early !!!
As I exited the village, I totally ignored the advice, that I had given yesterday. I “ignored”my instincts. My “Via de La Plata app” emphatically said, once on this dirt road, “there`s no chance to get lost”!!! The polite response to that is, “Bollocks” !!!
I retraced my steps a couple of times, and then broke my next cardinal rule of looking at a “map”. It was confusing, the “N630” was now the “A66”, what was going on here ?. The road looked new and I had a “sneaky” suspicion, “the author”, had not updated their material recently.
I should have gone back to the “original sign”, but I knew I was close. I am also very impatient. It had to be near, and if I followed the motorway, there would be an exit sign for it. I could see a very small town to my left, but it looked much closer than the 4 km, the guidebook suggested.
I decided to take the motorway option. I don’t think they encourage “walkers”, as there was a 6 ft fence “stopping” entry. I “scrambled” over it, and walked on the verge for a couple of km`s.
I came to a motorway “sign”, with “Riego del Camino” and another local name below it. It pointed away from the small town, which was now on my left . There also didn’t seem to be anything in that direction. I started to “wonder”, could “the sign” be referring to another town, that shared part of the same name ?
Unfortunately, there were no “locals” to ask. There was nothing for it, but to go back over the fence, and into the town on my left. As it turned out, my original “gut feeling” was correct. This indeed was “Riego del Camino” !!!.
It`s a very friendly town. As I walked down the small main street, a workman “digging” up the road, “stopped” and said “this is the house, where the “Hospitallero” lives”. He then without asking, “knocked” on the door, and spoke to her in “Spanish”. It looks like I am staying here, whether I like it or not !!!
The lady in charge “Dorita”, then walked with me to the “Albergue”, and gave me “the tour” in “Spanish”. It is a very basic hostel, but the beds are clean, and at €5 that`s all you can really ask for !!!. I gave her €10, and donated the rest to the Hostel. It was good to be in, and out of that heat !!!
I then went to the only “Bar” in the town. This too was very basic, and I took a “photo” of the exterior. It reminded me of something you might see in the “Wild West”!!!
Inside it was very “quirky”, with lots of “Camino” memorabilia. I asked the lady in charge could I take a “photo” inside, but she gave an emphatic “Non !!!” It was only then that I noticed the “no photo” sign. I guess the constant asking, must irritate her !!!
There was no official “pilgrim menu”, but she “rustled up” a lettuce and tomato salad, followed by a large slice of “Tortilla”, with “Jamon” and “Queso” slices. It all felt, very rural !!!
After a shower and “siesta”, I will be up there again. There is nowhere else to go !!!