Camino de Santiago – Day 9
Walked from: Viloria de la Rioja
Walked to: San Juan de Ortega
The soles of my feet ache a bit today. Which, when I think about it, isn’t that surprising cos’ I’ve walked 260km in the past nine days. That’s quite a lot really. So much so that I’m two days ahead of where the guidebooks expect your typical Camino walker to be at this point in their journey. But I’ve met some nice people who also like giving their legs a good stretch every day too, and should have left the annoying Americans from a few days ago far behind by now, so it’s all good.
Today started, as is now normal, with a short walk in the dark along a moonlit path, followed by a blazing, multicoloured sunrise, breakfast (orange juice, hot chocolate and usually a slice of tortilla) around 8km in, and then a gradual delayering of the walking clothes, as the temperate rises from 3 degree C to the mid-20s by lunchtime.
Post-lunch in the magnificently named truck stop of Villafranca Montes de Oca, I stopped at the Monumento de Los Caídos, a high point in the local hills which marks the shallow graves of 30 locals who were executed and buried there during the civil war. It’s hard to comprehend that such an awful thing happened in such a seemingly peaceful place, but a very important thing to mark, nonetheless.
Home tonight is a 16th century hostel next to the beautiful church at San Juan de Ortega. Seventy dorm beds in three rooms suggests it’ll be another night for the ear plugs 🙂