Mt Baldy Hiking Map

The Meseta is coming.

Life is simplified on a long walk such as the Camino. You learn to appreciate the simpler aspects -fresh spring water, a smooth trail free of rocks, the sun on your back or just a simple hello from the locals.

Rabe de las Calzadas appears, shimmering in a heat haze. When I enquire at two albergues, they tell me there is no room I have camping equipment but the nights are too chilly for my thin sleeping bag. With little choice I move, remembering a sheltered spot a mile on which I camped at on my first Camino. I hope if I wear all my clothes I’ll stay warm

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I set up camp and peer into the depths of my food bag. All I own is one peach and half a stale baguette. Coming back to the simpler things, they work together well, like a fruit cake. By 9pm a fierce wind is sucking the heat right out of me and I crawl into my tent, put on all my clothes and wrap the quilt tightly around, curling up to preserve what body warmth I have left. It’s an uncomfortable night with little sleep.

I’m going by 7am, making a beeline for the next village, Hornillos del Camino. The bar owner takes one look at my face and fires up the coffee machine, obliging my request for a cheese and ham sandwich. He is surprised when I comment on the temperature, especially when he realises I am English and should be used to the cold. Cold nights and hot days are the norm for this time of year in North Spain.

The San Bol refuge appears to my left, an oasis in a long, barren stretch. I pass through Hontanas where the locals will tell you the water from the church fountain is renowned for its health-giving properties. I drink my fill and take another litre with me.

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