Wed 4th Oct., Grimaldo to Galisteo, approx 20klms, approx 5 hours door to door.
The number of perigrinos on the path literally exploded* today. For most of the day there were six of us within a kilometre or so of each other.
But let me not get too far ahead of myself. After sharing a vino tinto and cena with Jonathon last night we got to bed later than planned, but that didn’t stop an intended 7:30am (i e. pre-sunrise) departure. That actually morphed into 7:55am, which was still well pre-sunrise. Those first 2 hours of cooler walking make all the difference, and before we knew it we were at the Riolobos turn-off. We had already planned not to go via that village, foregoing an early coffee, and also shortening the day by some 4klms.
Anyway, in that pre-dawn time we sort of criss-crossed with 4 other walkers, and at the Riolobos (cool name, that) turn-off I saw 4 others up ahead (they did turn left, so we never saw them again). It just goes to show how sparsely populated this walk is. And at tonight’s little pension there seemed to be another 4 we’ve not seen before. So as I said, a literal explosion.
The walk itself was pretty at times, but otherwise unremarkable. Here's a few shots:
Hey, man (esp. for those who've seen The Way)
There's something both inspiring and deflating to see the day's destination in the distance. Inspiring because the end is in sight. And still 2 hours away.
These little guys were so cute ...
Getting closer ...
Not long now ...
The day’s highlight, though, is the little pueblo of Galisteo. It’s city walls, most likely first built during the Almohad caliphate (13th century) are astonishing. They are some 11/12 metres in height, and some 3 metres thick at the base. They still circle the whole town. You can walk perhaps half the wall, and get clear views of the old town inside and the surrounding countryside outside. Sitting as it is on the crest of the local high point you can see how the fortress would have been impregnable in its day. Bits have been added or amended during the reconquista, and of course the walls have been renovated, but I gather they are essentially as they were.
(As an aside, and some of you know this already, I'm presently writing my second book/first novel, a piece of historical fiction set around the time the wall was built. I find exploring these places quite inspiring. I can imagine my characters passing through towns such as Galisteo, and sometimes for fun actually do place them here.)
Anyway, a few shots:
Looking over the roofs of the old city across to El Castillo y la Torre
One of the three city gates (Puerta del Rey, Puerta de Santa Maria, and Puerta de la Villa), apparently all constructed during the reconquista.
And lastly, our "Parador" for the evening.
Easy day tomorrow (11 klms), but a biggie, interspersed with more Roman stuff, on Friday (30 klms and no towns).
ps - * Literally Batty