Day 43 (9/Nov/2017): Fuenterroble de Salvatierra to San Pedro de Rozados (29km)

The temperature as I left the Albergue this morning had climbed to zero from an overnight low of -2 Celsius. Over breakfast, Father Blas told us that the albergue at Fuenterroble was our house. He predicted that we would be walking at a quick pace in the cold, and he was right; my long-sleeved base layer and t-shirt kept me at a comfortable temperature as long as I didn’t stop or slow down to take many photographs.
Once out of the village, the Camino parted from the surfaced roads and followed the old Roman road; as straight as an arrow, with ancient milestones to mark my progress. The frost thawed slowly. Shortly after I passed a sign indicating that I’d come 8km, I saw Julia from Germany, who had left the albergue a short time before me. She was enjoying a banana, so I sat with her and ate the plums that I had bought in Fuenterroble’s “El peregrino” supermarket. We discussed our plans – Her guidebook suggested avoiding Pedro de Rozados because the albergues were not so good there.
I continued on my way while she was still resting. The path became more wooded and it climbed to a crest where several windmills were turning. I tilted my lance/walking poles at them and headed up the hill where I was stunned by the magnificent view over the region. The wind was quite chilly up there (1200 meters) but I decided to wrap up warm and take my lunch (a packet of chorizo and some dried fruit and nuts) while admiring the view.
From there, the path descended through much more open countryside. I met another reverse direction walker, Jean-Pierre from Germany. He started his Camino in Triest, walked through France and followed the Camino Frances to Santiago, then headed south. He’s aiming for Cadiz, where he will stay for the winter. He warned me that the albergue in Morille (4km after San Pedro) had no hot water. So now I had bad news about the two possible places to stay. I thought about this as the path met up with the road to Santiago and ran alongside it for a long distance. Eventually, I passed some of the farm buildings that I had seen from the top of the hill. Here, there were some very shy red and white cattle of a type that is never seen before. They scarpered as soon as I approached to photograph them. I also passed some pigs who couldn’t care less about being photographed. They lack class. Probably won’t qualify as high-quality ham.
I arrived at a sign offering the option of turning left to San Pedro, 2km away, or continuing straight on to Morilles. I could see Julia in the distance behind me, so I decided to wait for her and compare notes.
We decided to head into San Pedro, a very quiet pueblo with at least three buildings marked “Albergue” but none open. We called a number and the lady that answered explained that the albergue had no heating, so the only option was to stay at the hotel for 25 euros. That suited me but Julia preferred to go to the albergue in Morilles, so we parted company and agreed to meet in Salamanca. The hotel is quite nice but the central heating is off, so the owner brought an electric radiator to my room. I appear to be the only guest and I was the only person eating here. The shops in the village open for very few hours each day (the grocery store opens from 10am to 12 and from 5pm to 7pm, the bakery opens from 9 to 2pm). I’ll walk to Salamanca tomorrow, which will be much livelier, although not much warmer.
It seems that I overestimated the distance remaining to Santiago. I’ve read that Salamanca is about 500km from Santiago, so I’m well past the halfway point of my journey.

Categories: 2017 Camino Mozarabe (Almeria to Finisterre)

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