Day 13 – Hontanas
I walked steady for 9 km to Taradajos. Occasionally, I could see Keith’s yellow slicker in the distance moving quickly and possibly Peter and Morag’s green and red gortex jackets as well as I moved though the rolling hills and valleys. When I got to Taradajos I sat with Peter, Morag, and Birgit just long enough to say hi over a café con leche and a pastry. After they trekked out, I leaned back with my eyes closed and recouped some energy before starting out again myself.
I seemed to pick up a bit of euphoria. I like to think it was the alchemical mixing of coffee and sweet pastry with 10 days of ibuprofen, sleeping pills, and codeine. I felt great and I trudged on at a fairly good clip.
Partly due to my temporary vigor and partly due to the rain which left the paths submerged and muddy;I caught up to Peter and Morag, and trust me, they can move at a good clip. It was a frightful walk the last 6 km to Hontanas. Most people were walking off the track on the elevated side, but it was rocky and treacherous. Peter and Morag had to walk right down the centre in most cases, as it was too difficult for Morag to lead Peter over the rocks. I walked with them for a bit and then decided to move on in hope of getting a room before they were all taken – a very real concern this year it seemed.
When I got to the Hontanos, the private and very nice albergue was already booked. Keith, of course, moved like a demon when he walks and he had already checked in and having a beer. I moved on to the municipal albergue, which turned out to be very nice as well.
I noted a hotel up the hill as I had walked into town so I decided to see if they had any rooms left. It turns out they had one and I reserved it for Peter and Morag. They were having a rough day with all the deep water and mud and were soaked past their knees. They were happy to have a nice place for the night.
I did some laundry and then sat in the café. I had a cerveza and wrote postcards to Sandy and the kids. I spotted Keith and we sat at the counter and had another. It had been a long day. 🙂
We sat down with Peter, Morag, Katie, Danny, and Birgit for some wine. Actually, I believe it was two bottles, but there were several of us working the issue. We ended up having dinner at a large table together. It was the usual good food and companionship, and a fine time.
After dinner Keith, Danny, Birgit, and I joined Peter and Morag in their room to discuss strategy for the next day. We decided that with all the traffic on the Camino and limited destination possibilities for the next day, we would be best off booking the next night in advance. So, Keith called a Pensione in Fromista for us all. Then we all went back to our respective albergues to get some sleep.