Two years ago today, I was walking the Camino Frances. While on the trail, I didn’t really post all that often; therefore, for the next 38 days, I will be posting a little blurb from my journal and up to 10 photos (not necessarily the best pictures but more that they represent that day in some particular way). It’s kind of like a little memorial as for me, the season of spring is now irrevocably linked to the Camino experience. Today is day 17 – May 7th. Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

Walked for a bit with an English guy who turned out to be a Church of England priest. He was the guy this morning that I could see from my top bunk and he had no pants. Thankfully, his shirt was long enough that I couldn’t see anything else from my vantage point. But when I caught up with Americans Erica and Charlene, it turns out they saw plenty more! Also, he apparently went around during the night waking people to stop them from snoring. Who knew I missed so much. …

First taste of the famous meseta. Beautiful wide open spaces, lovely wind, cool weather – it was great. I think I’m going to love the meseta, despite what I read before coming here that it is monotonous and boring. …

Passed by the 14th-century San Anton, the ruins of a monastery that straddles the road via an archway – really neat. The walk into Castrojeriz was a little worrying because I could see a giant group ahead of me. Turned out that they were some sort of French tourist group doing the Camino for the day. There was even a group leader. …

A lot of construction was going on in Castrojeriz and at one point, I thought I was going the wrong way – but the arrows told me otherwise and I needed to trust in the arrows. I found one of the smaller albergues run by a nice hospitelero. I put my stuff in queue for the laundry (the hospitelero does it – I don’t think he trusts us pilgrims with the machine) as I didn’t feel like hand washing because it looked like it was going to rain (I was right). …

Castrojeriz looks like a town with money in that the construction going on seemed to be restoration work. Found a sign to the Castillo I saw from the road way up on the hill as I walked into town. Steep uphill but the views were worth it. The Castillo itself was locked. I’d wanted to sit up there and journal but too many ants nixed that idea in the bud. Ended up journaling in a bar that used to be an old wine press. I was the only one there and not for the first time, I wished my Spanish was better so that I could converse with the proprietor lady who seemed really nice. She was really happy when I did manage to say “me gusta su bar”. …

Had dinner with an older Dutch gentleman. Late 50s, owns his own successful butchery, thinking of writing a book (apparently has a successful blog), has 4 kids, married for 35 years at the end of May, has 8 grandkids ranging from 0 to10 years old, and he’s been walking since the middle of February. He’d started his Camino from home in Holland. His walk took him through Holland, Belgium, France, and now Spain. I was in awe. ….

Back in albergue room, I was reminded that Europeans are different that North Americans when it comes to privacy – they wander around in just a shirt and briefs/panties. Room kinda smells, now, too. Sigh. I can’t wait for Leon where I plan to treat myself to a private room…