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Oasis in the Meseta

P1000468A bright harvest moon back lit the dramatic convent ruins of San Antón. It was 5.30am and a stunning photo op – if only my camera battery wasn’t dead.

Then it was just 2½ km to Castrojerez for coffee and tostada. We filled our water bottles at a fuente at the end of the long narrow town and plodded steadily to the top of the 900ft hill of Mostelares and scrambled steeply down again. The walking was easy then, for some of us at least. Many feet were a terrible mess of serious deep blisters by now, others had tendon injuries and had to opt out for a few days.

Many of us stopped that night just another 10km further on at the oasis which was the En El Camino albergue in Boadilla del Camino. There was a peoaceful green courtyard garden here, ice cream, a pool for weary feet and a selection of beds in different corners of the outbuildings. Ada and I found places in real beds (not bunks!) up a rickety ladder near Irish John, pooled our resources and used a proper washing machine then relaxed in the garden until a lighthearted dinner (with delicious fish – a departure from the usual menu) with speed walking/talking Italians and Canadians.

Ada and I decided to leave early. We set our alarms for 5am.

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