Day 11 – El Camino – Grañon to Villafranca Montes de Oca

Grañon to Villafranca Montes de Oca, sleeping on the floor amongst a hundred other pilgrims made the morning a scramble. Everyone’s alarm going off at staggered intervals, some at 5h30, others closer to 6h00.

~6.5 hours
1X water purification tablet; 1X ibuprofen tablet
early morning, chilly and slightly windy; morning sunny and gentle breeze; late morning very sunny and warm; early afternoon very sunny and hot; late afternoon sunny and partly cloudy
– Albergue: 5€

To add insult to injury, the church bells were ringing every hour, quarter hour, half hour, and three quarters of an hour all through the night.

Anyway, we all got up and went to the breakfast table, which the night before was the dinner table. Same table, different name for different uses. They toasted the bread from the night before and served it with apricot jam, honey and butter.

I thanked the Hospitalleras for their hospitality and for looking after us all. I did the European kisses on their cheeks.

Aaron went ahead to the bus stop, in the direction of the sunrise, while Sam, Matt and I walked on to the Camino track I the direction of the full moon – still perfectly visible at 7h00 in the morning.

The blister I got on my heel was forgotten as I walked along in my boots. We kept a fast but steady pace and made it to Belorado by 10h00. There we had brunch and found the pair of German girls who we started the walk with back in St Jean Pied de Port and in Roncevalles. Here is photographic proof!

Juliana (next to Matt) is flying back home, and Johanna (next to me) is continuing on to Finisterra. They were catching the 12h00 bus to Burgos. Which made us think that perhaps Aaron would also be catching the same bus, turns out we were right.

In Belorado, all the streets were blocked off for a running circuit for children of the village.

We walked all the way to Espinosa del Camino where we took a short rest break and then smashed the path all the way into Villafranca Montes de Oca. Today was a long and painful day. We thought it was 26.7km but in fact, we walked more than 29km. Well done to us!

The Albergue is really nice here. It is an ancient 14th century hospital for the pilgrims at the time, now converted into a swish hotel. Pilgrims can stay here for 5€ per night in dormitories, which we guess were the old servants quarters. We booked into a smaller dorm with sixteen beds, the cost was slightly more 8€, but worth it for a bit more privacy.

Tonight is the final for the World Cup! Germany V Argentina.

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