After the snow and wind and rain, it was quite lovely to walk in the sunshine and appreciate the spring blossoms. I had begun lose faith in the concept of “Spring in Europe” as the weather we had experienced thus far had in no way been a reflection of my understanding of spring! The warm sunshine, spring flowers, big blue skies and rolling green fields along these sections remedied this. Spring in Spain is indeed magnificent.
Photo above: the beginning of the Meseta. Beautiful long stretch of road into Hornillos.
Just a quick note on Hornillos. When I arrived the lady who ran the albergue was busy serving lunch in the bar said that we needed to wait until she was done to see if there was still place to stay there for the night. This was not such a problem because it was a beautiful day and everyone staying in Hornillos for the night sat on the steps of the church in the sun and chatted. It really was a perfect afternoon. The accommodation story was eventually sorted out and I managed to get a bed, albeit in a bit of an unfriendly room.
The room had about 10 bunk beds which was fine except that they had no ladders and being the last one to get a spot there, I clearly got the top middle bunk. There was a large sign as you went into the room stating that due to the fact that there were no ladders on the bunks, the chairs next to the beds were to be kept clear for people trying to climb up and down to the top bunks. I didn’t think much of this at the time.
By the time I had been allocated a bed it was time for dinner so I just dropped my backpack were it belonged and headed out. I got back at about 9 to find that the people in my room had already turned the lights out. This confirmed to my initial “unfriendly” assessment.
I couldn’t find my torch so used the light of my kindle to dig around in my pack to find my sleeping bag etc. I eventually managed to scramble up onto my bed. It was one of those “saggy” bunk beds, the kind where you end up sleeping in a ball in the hollow in the middle. The major issue came when I needed to get up in the middle of the night. I had to extricate myself from “saggy” bed and climb down, without a torch or a ladder, and while trying not to wake anyone up. It was going pretty well until I started lowering myself onto the chair (aka replacement ladder) next to the bed. I had just got to the point where I was close enough to just let go and hopefully land on the chair when the guy sleeping on the bunk below me grabbed my leg and hissed “DON’T step on my glasses!” He had apparently missed the large sign explaining the ladder situation and used the chair as a bedside table. To say I got a fright is a severe understatement. I just let go and ended up dropping down next to the stupid chair onto the cold floor. Believe me when I say that doing this on feet that have walked a few hundred kms is not advisable!
Photo above: these guys didn’t get a place to sleep in the albergue in Hornillos. They got really cold but as with all things, it is the resulting story that makes it all worth it!
I was privileged to spend a lot of time exploring wilderness areas in southern Africa from a very young age. I got my first camera when I was 6 years old and I have been passionate about wildlife and landscape photography ever since.