July 17, 2008

Day 58: 10 June- Tosantos to Ages

I left Tosantos by 7.15am, and I passed these ruins
which show that Christianity has been practised in this part of Spain for quite a while now...
I enjoyed an extra snack in Villafranca expecting some hard climbing ahead, but the ascent wasn't actually too hard, and it seemed to be over almost before it began. I had been looking forward to this next lot of mountains for the view, but mist covered the track almost as soon as I left Villafranca!

And then came the looooooooong flat section at the top that I hadn't been expecting, for many kilometres. It seemed to be a forestry road, and in places it was very muddy, and frustratingly difficult to walk along!

Finally it came time for the descent into San Juan de Ortega, where the monastery church building was beautiful. I saw Francis waiting here for the albergue to open, and he asked after our mutual friends from Quebec. But I had been out of e-mail reach for a few days. My ankles were feeling especially sore today after all that flat walking, so I could have stopped here too. But it would be an awfully long walk into Burgos next day from here, so I pushed on to Ages. Turns out it was a good move: everyone who stayed in the San Juan albergue found it cold, damp, and unfriendly, and they were hungry. It was unfortunate, as this was a place an old priest had made legendary, but it seemed like he had recently died, and things were not in good heart....
Amazingly, the weather improved, and it actually got quite warm for a short while on the stretch down to Ages.
There was a friendly welcome at the bar and gite in Ages. But the brief sunshine disappeared and it got cold again. Sigh!
I was able to access e-mail here. Found out that L&D had spent the night before in Belorado. And I was e-mailed about a job possibility for when I returned home...
And it all seemed a bit strange being in electronic contact with the outside world, when I knew I was only a few kilometres from Atapuerca where early humans roamed!


  1. As you walk into the admittedly slightly scruffy little town of Najera you pass by an allotment with a little whitewashed shed on the wall of which is written 'Pilgrim when in Najera you are a Najeran' And this proved to be one of the friendliest towns we stayed in and it wasn't just at the hostal but everyone we met there. . At the end of the Camino I found that it wasn't the architecture or landscape that I remembered most is was the people -even the casual encounters passing through a town or village. At the start I rated a place on its beauty, history or the standard of the restaurants etc but my criteria changed by the end.

  2. I agree..... it is the memories of the people I met that stand out in my mind. Today it is one year since I walked into Santiago with two friends I had met from Quebec, and my mind is full of thoughts of people I met along the way. I wish I was able to track some people down and say thank you, because meeting them meant so much more than they could probably imagine.

    I guess I never saw to the friendly heart of Najera as it was too early in the day to think of stopping and we just had lunch there by the river bank. I do remember that day though, as it became bittely cold, and at Azofra nobody was putting their feet anywhere near the attractive looking foot bath.