Day 22 (to Reliegos): … each and ev’ry highway …

I leave a sleepy town …  

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”22″ gal_title=”2014-Day 22″]

… this morning. It quite chilly outside, so I improvised a spare pair of socks into gloves.The path is wide and almost impossible to miss the direction … yet I did it anyway. I realised my mistake when I hit upon the wire fence near the highway …. I should have made a right turn couple of km before.
Right … round and round I go, following the railway track until I csme across a bridge and familiar yellow arrows.

Low forest provides some protection from the wind that is quite chilly. On the path in the middle of nowhere a peregrina on a bike passes me by. After the forest, the path cuts across the plain with a next village on the horizon. Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (or a “small path of Little Brothers – Franciscans”). I don’t spot an open bar or a store. But a van is circling the village, blowing his horn …. I later figured out the driver is selling bread.

After the village the Way follows the road … a bit up … a bit down … until it hit the plain again. I come across a Finish peregrina waiting for a friend to pick her up by car.
This plain is the dreaded “Meseta” that some guidebooks suggest should be skipped by taking a bus, because its … “boring”. Well I gotta say I’ll take the plains over the mountains any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I vastly prefer nice and flat plains then those steep uphill climbs.

Than again there are quite a lot of these plains.
Quite a lot indeed.
So much so it gives a whole new meaning too the word “endless”.
Not a soul in sight … just an occasional train on the railway to the left.

Finally a turn then a small hill and a city in the distance.
After a few km I experience a most pleasant surprise … a town hidden right at the foot of the hill … yeesss, these are the kind of surprises I enjoy …
I arrived at Reliegos around 15:50. In the first bar I ask for a location of municipal albergue and the bartender immediately points out to hospitalero. I am the first peregrino to check in today. Plenty of room … comfy showers … its five star Camino accommodation.

After a little while I am joined by Ana and David who live near Barcelona. They are inviting me to share some pasta they are making at the albergue kitchen  … “thanks but I just had lunch” … then they invite me to share a bottle of wine … now that’s an offer that can’t be refused.

On a related note, regarding food on the Camino. During the walk I ate sandwiches and fruit … the main meal of the day came when I parked myself at the albergue for the day. I ate either at the albergue, or at nearby bar / restaurant that offer menu peregrino. It consists of two courses, dessert, bread, water and sizeable wine ration. The first course offers from one to several options (depending on the establishment) that include: mixed salad, spaghetti Milanese, macaroni, various soups. The second course options include: club steak, chicken, fish, ham croquet’s, meatballs, T-bone steaks
Desert options include ice-cream, yogurt, fruit, and a Spanish version of rozada.
All this ranges from 8 to 12€.

A slight rain has started outside and its quite chilly with strong wind so the hospitalero kindly brings an electric heater.

That was day no. 22.