Friday, August 8, 2014

Heavy Metal Zone

Hello, everyone.

We left Hontanas about 7:10 am, which was late for us. The day was clear and pleasant, not too cold nor too warm. We walked through fields and around mesas and past Castrojeriz:

 There is a castle on a nearby mesa that protected the area.

 We also walked over one mesa that was, well, difficult. The trail had signs before both the climb to the top:
Slogging uphill at 12 degrees of slope

Copy of the slope sign for people going the other way!
And also the 18 degree descent to the bottom (again, the sign pic is to show off that we completed the slope!)
The downhill side was a cement path, about as wide as a small road, and I had to zigzag it to keep my toes from being completely beaten to pieces inside my boots. I kept stopping to look back, too, because I was afraid that a bike pilgrim would be coming down, and be unable to go around me at the high speed the bike would surely hit. All in all, I was very glad to get to the bottom of that path!

We continued on, reaching the border of the province and stopping for the night in Itero de la Vega. This small village, we discovered, is the site of a heavy metal festival every August. The young fellows who ran the albergue we stayed at were metalheads, too. The walls resounded with the THUD THUD of the music being listened to by the one who was doing reception in the afternoon. Some friends of theirs had a bar and we were given samples of their herbal liqueur after dinner. It was strongly fennel-and-apple in the taste.

The next day we left early and headed on down the road. When we stopped for cafe leche, at a little eat place out in the middle of wherever, I heard the sound of home: a lady came in with her family and she asked the bartender for "jugo de naranja." (In Spain, we had discovered, nobody says "jugo." They all say "zumo.") Just the sound of it was refreshing.