Day 18: Hontanas to Castrojeriz, 10.4km

Today was a short day due to weather.  It was SNOWING in Hontanas when we left.  I walked with Petra and Henrik today.  All three of us were freezing.  It was 0 degrees Celsius and the wind was blowing too.  I had sent my winter hat and thermals home over a week ago (and regretting it every day since).  The weather had been in the 30s (Celsius) so I thought it was safe to send things home I didn't need anymore.  Wrong!

Luckily for us, the path was relatively flat but it was also very exposed to the wind.  I felt like I was going to get blown off the path a few times!  It reminded me of the wind back home in the Columbia River Gorge.

We had picked the Albergue with the kitchen so we could cook dinner.  This was the wrong reason to pick this Albergue.  We found out later there was NO HEAT and NO HOT WATER!!!  (I skipped the shower, not interested in freezing my arse off)  Before we found this out, it was too late to go to another Albergue and we decided to stick it out.

There's a great bar down from the Albergue where we hung out when we first arrived in town.  We also found the grocery store, so we bought food for dinner.  I offered to cook spaghetti olive oil, so we bought supplies for that.

Petra needed a warmer jacket and I was still looking for a pack cover.  It was our lucky day because we found a store selling camping gear!  The man running the place reminded me of Mr. Olsen from "Little House On The Prairie".  He had so much stuff crammed into this little store.  I was even thinking of buying a smaller/lighter sleeping back but he didn't take credit cards so I focussed on needs vs. wants.  (Aren't you proud of me Mom?)

He asked me what size my pack was and I drew a blank.  I couldn't remember!  So, he handed me one for a smaller pack, and one for a bigger pack and told me to come back after 4:30p when he re-opened for the afternoon.  What a trusting man!  Petra bought a jacket to help keep her warm.  I joked with her that it was going to keep her warm because it couldn't breath!

We went back to the Albergue and I took a nap.  It was freezing.  Literally.  I think it was close to 7 degrees Celsius outside and it seemed colder inside.  I'm really glad I brought my "scooter rally" sleeping bag.  It's light and it always keeps me warm, no matter how cold it is.  I just wish I could get it to compress down a little smaller.

After naptime, we went back to the outdoor store to buy the pack cover.  I'm pretty sure it won't rain anymore now that I have one!  We also went to the grocery store again and found a bar open so we had cafe con leches all around. At this point, we were doing anything we could to stay inside somewhere with heat that was warm.

Dinner time was approaching so we went back to the Albergue to make dinner.  The kitchen had a sink, a two burner stove (think Coleman camping stove with propane), a microwave and a few pots/pans.  I got to work making the spaghetti and forgot to make the soup first!  We decided we didn't need the soup after all.  Petra and Henrik enjoyed the spaghetti olive oil (or did a great job pretending they did!  Ha!).  We also had bread, wine, beer and a great time sitting in the kitchen.  It was pretty warm from our cooking.

After dinner we went back downstairs to hang out before bed.  We messed around on the internet for a bit and then I decided it was just too cold, so I went to bed.