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Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Villambistia to Ages

Camino de Santiago

What goes down must go up!

The scenery really changed today.  We’ve gone from minor hills to a major one and from waving grain to forest and wild heather.  Still, it was raining.  Still, it was freezing cold.

A mountain stood in my path.  In fact, climbing the mountain was the easy part.  What was difficult was the looooong walk on a muddy wide path that seemed it would never end.  Nothing happened for hours.

Arriving in San Juan de Ortega, I thought I heard gunshots.  Hunting, I guessed.  But no, I arrived as a bride and groom were leaving the church and grown men in snappy suits were shooting off fireworks and bottle rockets that filled the tiny plaza with smoke.  Confetti filled the air.  I watched from afar along with a British man and his friend from Kansas.  That was fun!

I walked a bit further to get to Ages and found myself a nice hostel.  Top bunk for me again.  My room was occupied with only French people who weren’t particularly nice, to put it diplomatically.  It could be me.  My vibe has been off for a few days.

I dined on vegetarian paella that the cook so kindly made while sitting with a French Canadian woman and a French man who unfortunately fit every bad stereotype about the French.  He was an odd bird.  Again, maybe it was me.

It hailed and rained all afternoon and evening.  Basically, it was too cold to be outside.  I worried about Jamie because I hadn’t heard from him all day.  I found out that there is a government-sponsored service devoted entirely to helping pilgrims find each other and that I could call them at any time to go out and find Jamie.  No emergency needed.  Good to know.  I figured I would wait until the next day to freak out because wifi is not available everywhere and it was possible he couldn’t get online.

Glad I made it over the mountain and glad I made it through that dreadful stretch.  A day of sun would be really awesome.  One can dream.

Today I walked 21 kilometers (13.5 miles).

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