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 18 – May 8th. Castrojeriz to Fromista

Walking out of Castrojeriz took forever as it is a long town. I filled up my bottle at the fuente and off I went to tackle a seriously steep hill. I did it without my poles which is definitely an improvement. I met a couple of Hungarians and a Slovakian at the top. The Slovakian guy took my photo for me and then wanted one with his camera of him and me. So now my face is somewhere in Slovakia… The terrain at the top was a plateau for a while and then it went steeply downhill. It was lovely walking in the countryside by myself in the silence – until one of the Hungarian ladies caught up to me and kept pace with me just behind. It was super annoying. Finally came to a rest spot where some guy was selling fruit – I was going to stop there to let her pass me but then I realized she was stopping to wait for her friends. Don’t have to tell me twice – off I went. …

Walked into a new province this morning – Palencia. It rained a bit, enough for me to put on the poncho, which was hard to do with a backpack that had walking poles attached, a camera around my neck, and the wind doing its best to stymie me. …

After a break that included my usual snack of tortilla, I packed away the poncho. Twenty minutes later, had to pull it out again. Left it on when it stopped raining as it was clear the universe was messing with me today. …

Crossed over an 18th-century canal system. Birds were singing, frogs croaking, rain dripping, wind blowing, silence otherwise. It was fantastic. …

Fromista is a weird town. Front half of the town is pretty interesting with its two churches and historic architecture. The back half is full of rundown houses and animal poop. Lovely. But I did enjoy the two churches. One is from the 15th century and has a little museum in the back where I got to see some 15th-century documents complete with medieval drawings. The 11th-century San Martin Church was quite entertaining because of the carvings outside and in. …

Dinner was with a girl I’d met back in Redecilla – she lives in England and makes saddles for a living. Food-wise, I tried the local specialty of Castilian soup (garlicy and mushy), trout complete with head and tail, ice cream…and of course, vino tinto. We ate on a patio on the main plaza so San Martin Church was our view. As the evening wore on, black birds came out and dive bombed all over the place…