Castro-Jerez to Fromista – 24.6K

This entry is part 18 of 29 in the series Part 3: Puente la Reina to Astorga

Hotel Doña Mayor (82€)

On the trail before dawn.  We find our way out of town and across a big field and are in for a  steep ascent.  We are joined by a cheery man from Finland, his energy boundless. His enthusiasm boosts us up the hill.  At the top he goes on ahead.  Nick is having problems with his leg and needs to stop about once an hour.  There is another big climb, and we then head out across a mesa and straight down.  A weird thing keeps happening… each day for the past four days we have encountered an older couple coming in the opposite direction.  We saw them at 7:20 AM today, again.  ?????  We recognize many pilgrims on the trail… Vicki and Sheila from British Columbia, then Bruce and his wife Sharon, also from BC, then Gayle and Derek, BC as well.   Many Australians.  We only see our friends Peter and Hermann once today; miss them.  We stop for C&CC at 11:00 (after 10 kilometers) and then stop for lunch at 19 kilometers.  The restaurant is also an albergue with lots of pilgrims staying there, lounging in the sun and even swimming. We’d like to stay here too, but at least we have a tasty lunch.  Bonnie:  garbanzo soup and salad / Nick:  stew.  We have 6 kilometers to go, this last stretch along a canal and by fields of sunflowers and wheat.  I have noticed giant bird nests tucked into church steeples and atop power poles.  Nick (in a rare burst of avian knowledge) believes the birds are storks; I wonder when they show up.  At the end of a long day, we arrive in Fromista around 4:00 PM, and our hotel is quite modern.  B+N.  Out to dinner at 8, we choose a noisy pizza parlor, the bad news.  But the good news is that our new friends from BC (Vickie, Sheila, Bruce and Sharon) are all celebrating Sharon’s fiftieth birthday.  We join in.

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