Day eighteen on the Via de la Plata
20km to Ríolobos
My attempt at 29km ended early in a town called Ríolobos - which possibly translates to something like “river of wolves” or “wolf river”.
I'd miscalculated. I planned only to stop here for lunch but it was a deviation of 4km off the trail that I hadn't counted - another hour's walking. By the time I reached the turnoff I was already behind schedule as well; I'd had a slow morning with long, gentle hill climbs and then short, horrendous steep ones, and I’d been taking my time enjoying the morning’s walk through the loveliest pine woods.
I finally got to lunch around 3pm, only after walking up slope after slope on the way into the village - up and down and again and again in the breath-stealing heat, coming up on crest after crest hoping to see the village but only seeing yet another hill (see header image). Absolutely exhausting, but it made for great views and I spied some snow-capped mountains in the distance.
By the time I'd stuffed myself full of a delicious ensalada tropical and patatas fritas, I just did not want to move. It was due to be another 10km, but I couldn’t bear even the thought of it after yesterday’s long day and this awfully exhausting detour.
In the end, the restaurant very conveniently also provided accommodation for pilgrims so I booked a place to stay here. I got a two-person shared bungalow, except I'm pretty sure I was the only pilgrim in town and knew I would likely have the whole thing to myself. Luxury!
After that, I felt much better. It was still early in the day and I had the chance to wash my hair and wash some clothes. On the Camino, it's the simple things that you enjoy the most. Plus, there was WiFi and I got to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones. Not a bad end to a long, long day.
Until next time,
Hey! Ameena here - I’m a freelance portraiture and documentary photographer based in London. I enjoy telling stories about adventure, the outdoors, and our relationship with the natural world.
In this newsletter, I’m digitally retracing my steps on the Camino de Santiago. From March to May 2019, over 45 days, I walked over 900km along the Via de la Plata (the Silver Way) route of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.
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