Day 18 – Grimaldo to Galisteo. Because of the heat of the day we had a pre dawn start from Grimaldo. It was going to be about a 20 kilometre day to Galisteo. The owner of the Casa Rural where we stayed the night before gave us some very good information about the route. It was all about how the route had changed over the years. There is a diversion or an alternative route on this section, which takes you through Rio Lobos.
Apparently, that came about 10 years ago because the local landowners no longer wanted pilgrims walking through their property. The camino associations worked out another route which would take them around and take them through Rio Lobos. That alternative route is no longer required. He stressed that you can now go back to the traditional Camino route and go straight through.
That was very interesting because when we got to that point where the sign was basically saying go this way to Rio Lobos, we thought no, we understand that. We now have to go straight. So both myself and another guy that I was walking with, (we weren’t walking together and we’re a few 100 metres apart). We actually both took a wrong turn. We went straight ahead, but we ended up going through some property that wasn’t actually the on the Camino.
I realized after about 300 or 400 meters and then sort of backtracked and got back onto the right route. The other guy decided no, he was going to soldier on it. He basically bush bashed his way back onto the Camino which was quite amusing because I thought he was well ahead of me. I think there’s about two hours later, I looked around and he was coming up this hill behind me, sweating. I said, how the heck did you get behind me and then his story came out about taking the wrong road.
So be very careful there and make sure that you understand that you’re not gonna take the alternative route to Rio Lobos. But do make sure that you’re on the correct Camino route. Check your guidebooks, and check your GPS tracks. I have to confess I did all of that when I went through the gate that I shouldn’t have gone through but I was only 100 or 200 metres off the track and so I thought I’ll cut across, but I couldn’t.
I should have gone back straight away because those tracks I’ve mentioned before, they’re very accurate. So that was quite amusing. Then we walked together the remaining part into Galisteo.
Galisteo was really interesting because we wondered, you know, how far away the town was. Typically, you can see these towns from a long distance. But this time, you come around the side of the hill and then suddenly there it is in front of you about 2k’s away. A beautiful looking town! It’s a walled town, so it’s got the original walls all around it. An amazing place! There was one amusing element to end the day, as we had lunch with a few other pilgrims.
Once we got into Galisteo, we found our accomodation. We were staying at the other side of town in a casa rural where a couple that I had been walking with had one room and I had a room another private room.
Then we met another pilgrim over lunch nearby, who we knew quite well. We said, “where are you staying”? And he said, “oh, I’m staying where you’re staying”. So we all walked back together. Then the owner of the casa rural wasn’t there. One of our group of three speaks Spanish so she called the owner and we found that our pilgrim friend didn’t have a booking. But she rang around to see what other accommodation was available and all albergues were full and everything else was full.
Then she’s looking at me and I think I know what you’re thinking. Because I have a private room with two beds. So of course I offered the other bed to our pilgrim friend who didn’t have one. He was a snorer but never mind. It was good that he ended up having a bed. Otherwise, it would have meant a long walk to the next place. So that was a good end to a good day.
We stayed at La Pensión del Parador. No. It’s not a Parador 🙂 It was very comfortable, with the use of a kitchen and dining area. And in the morning the bakery next door was open!