Today’s many ups and downs made Dave and I question this adventure we are on. What a rollercoaster day, and it is only Day 1 of the Camino San Salvador. We were warned about how hard this Camino is. No kidding! It was harder than any day on our Camino Primitivo and it’s going to get even harder in two days.
The day started out to be one of the best, with blue skies and 19°. We left Leon via an alternative peaceful, riverside walk, stopping to chat with a friendly and ”muy guapo” Spanish man walking his dog and two American pilgrims. Several locals wished us “Buen Camino.”
After six kilometres we joined the main Camino route in Carbajal de la Lengua where cervezas con limon (beer with lemon) and tortilla hit the spot even though it was only 10 AM. This was the last opportunity for refreshments before the hard climb ahead so it’s a good thing we didn’t pass this up.
The elevation profile doesn’t look hard, but the three out of five rating on the difficulty scale doesn’t take into account the hot sun beating down and lack of shade. It had warmed up to a toasty 27° by the afternoon. The pesky black flies that love to hover in the field of vision searching for moisture were out in full force.
We thought we had planned this trip well but this afternoon we realized we left out something rather important: what number to call in case of an emergency. For the record, call 112. We could see the need for Medivac being a real possibility!
When we finally arrived in the tiny village of Cabanillas where there are no restaurants, bars, or grocery stores, we saw several doorways with bottled water lined up for pilgrims to help themselves. How kind! Residents understand the need.
Oh how we love Cabanillas! We are staying in the municipal albergue where there are only four beds. We are the only occupants. Dave said no one else will show up because they would have to be out of their minds to climb those hills in this heat.
Thankfully there was a supply of beer in the dispensing machine. It went down very nicely after a gruelling afternoon. We strolled around this very quiet little town that actually has two churches and saw only a couple of locals who seemed surprised to see anyone who wasn’t a resident. Most pilgrims don’t stay here, but carry on to the big town of La Robla.
Check out the video/slideshow of Day 1 of the Camino de San Salvador.