HONTANAS – FROMISTA
±2.0km (for Corna – I was taking the bus from Burgos to Fromista)
34.6km (for Berto – he continued walking)
(A possible heading for today’s post: THAT bus trip to Fromista)
As my bus was scheduled to only depart at 17:30 in the afternoon to Fromista, I knew that this day would turn out to be a very long one!
I was surprised that I wasn’t in too much pain when I woke up…it could either be due to the medication or the thought that I will (hopefully) be reunited with my husband tonight.
I enjoyed a hot croissant and coffee before exploring the old city of Burgos a bit. Although walking was not too much of an issue – the knee guard definitely made a difference – I was aware that I needed to rest as much as I possibly can, in order to continuing my walk tomorrow.
With this in mind, I found my way easy to the bus station to wait for my bus ride to Fromista. Since I can remember, I loved watching people – whether it’s at a busy airport or shopping mall – I can sit for hours and “make stories” of people coming and going. It was the same here at the bus station in Burgos, which was really busy (probably because it was a Friday). Old and young people, tourists and pilgrims … a diversity of cultures … there was almost excitement in the air because everybody was going somewhere for the weekend.
I found it quite funny how some of the elderly gentlemen came to sit next to me (although there were plenty of other seats available) and tried to have a conversation … but after realising that my Spanish was non-existent, they just sat there and smiled at me ☺️ … so, we have done a lot of smiling!
In the meantime, Berto was walking from Hontanas. According to him it was so cold during the early morning that his camera actually shut down due to the cold! But when the sun came out, he managed to take beautiful photos on his way.
The entrance to San Anton
The prominent castle over the town of Castrojeriz; a well-known landmark on the Camino de Santiago
History on Castrojeriz (as per SpottingHistory’s website):
Castrojeriz village is considered as one of the landmarks of historic interest in the Camino de Santiago. Its rich history may take up consideration as castro Visigoth, or perhaps, also, Roman fort, (they say was founded by Julius Caesar) in whose castle important battles developed between Christians and Moors.
The first mention of this castle dates from the 9th century during the skirmishes with the Muslim forces. There are three clearly differentiated sections: the Roman part (which is today reduced to an almost hidden square tower); the Visigoth part comprising the extension to the castle with different masonry work from in the Roman part and then the medieval part.
A steep climb out of Castrojeriz to the Meseta
As per John Brierley’s book: “What goes up, must come down” – the view back over the valley after the climb
The Canal de Castilla that flows into Fromista
The walk into Fromista
Back to my bus trip
At 17:30 I found bus stop number 10 and got on the bus with my ticket to Fromista. The driver spoke very little English and just showed me to a seat when I presented my ticket … ok, so hopefully that meant this bus was going to Fromista!
The previous night, while ‘studying’ the official website of the bus services, I counted that the bus would have to stop 17 times before reaching its final destination, Fromista. I wrote each town’s name down in my little notebook and as we left Burgos, I would tick off the name of each place where we stopped … silly, I know 😌 … but this way, I was making sure I was going in the right direction or could at least telling someone where I am if I get lost!
As the bus got closer to Fromista, more and more passengers got off and eventually, for the last 4 stops, I was the only one left on the bus. The bus driver still stopped at every little town, got out of the bus and chatted to the ladies standing there. A few minutes later, he would get back on the bus and almost look surprised that I was still there. He would then just asked with a frown “Fromista?” and I would nod my head and say “Si” … and then we would continue the drive.
It was so funny that I almost laughed … that’s now if I wasn’t so anxious about a positive outcome of this trip!
As we drove into Fromista (at last!), he asked “Albergue?” and then I realised that Berto and I never arranged a meeting point … oh my!
At that very moment my phone rang and it was Berto. He asked where I was and I said we just drove into Fromista. He then said that he can see the bus and I must ask the driver to stop right there. I tapped the driver on the shoulder and asked him to stop and to my surprise, he has done exactly that – in the middle of the road. I pointed towards Berto, that was running in the direction of the bus and said “Mi esposo” (I learned that along the way) … the driver just smiled, got out of the bus and offloaded my backpack. I thanked him with a warm South African smile and hugged my dear husband … I was SO relieved!
Berto has his own story of how he tried to find out what time the bus would arrive in Fromista and where it would stop… finally one of the owners of a bar gave Berto his cell phone to call me because they couldn’t understand him … and the timing was just perfect!
Lesson learned (a very valuable one): Sometimes you must have faith that everything will work out the way it should be!
We celebrated our reunion at the Albergue Estrella del Camino with a beer while sitting in their lovely garden and later had a delicious dinner from the pilgrims menu at a restaurant.
Cheers with “Vino tinto” on happy moments like these!
The lovely garden of Albergue Estrella del Camino
I said to Berto that I’m sure this bus drive was more exhausting than walking to Fromista!
But I’m happy – really, really happy that we will start walking together again tomorrow!