Ages, Camino de Santiago, Camino Frances, pilgrimage, Spain, Tosantos

September 12th, Day 11: Tosantos to Ages

Sunflowers directing us on the way.

I woke up early this morning, showered, had breakfast and hugged Jose goodbye, thanking him for his warm hospitality and words of wisdom from the previous night. Gill is at the table with his book and map out. He has plans to meet his wife near Santiago in a few days time, and is debating when he will breakaway from the group that has been solidly forming over the past week. He decides to walk one more day with us.

Gill and I just outside of San Juan de Ortega

Tammy joins us and we head out to Ages. As soon as we step out of the albergue, we are met with wind and cold temperatures. Since the cafe is open across the way, we stop in for a cortado – for strength and warmth.

Ramon waiting for us near San Juan.

We walk a couple of hours to a village where we can get a substantial snack: tortilla de patata, and another coffee. We find a market and pick up some fruit, bread, cheese, olives and wine. We have some climbing ahead of us today – three sections to be exact. We decide to break the journey and have a picnic lunch somewhere near San Juan de Ortega.

Tammy, Gill and I set out again, and Gill, our storyteller, shares his tales of basking in Wales and his dishwashing days in Ireland. We all decide we will walk the Highland Way in Scotland next Summer. We spend the afternoon walking, talking, dropping back and moving ahead so we all have time with each other.
Shortly outside of San Juan de Ortega, Ramon is sitting on a haybale in the field waiting for us. The four of us find a picnic table in the little village, with consists of a church and a cafe, and sit for an hour, eating, talking, laughing, and debating whether to stay or head on to the next town, Ages.

Gill, Tammy, Ramon and I picnic-ing in San Juan.

I tour the beautiful, old church in San Juan, and Ramon decides he is going to stay put for the night.
Tammy, Gill and I move on to Ages, arriving late, but securing the last three bunkbeds in the municipal albergue. We get settled in, start laundry and head over to the cafe. It’s our last afternoon with Gill, so we decide to do it up. I walk in to the cafe, order a bottle of Rioja, ask for three glasses and head back outside.

The rest of the afternoon continues like this, the group growing over the following hours, sharing vino, food and music. A Frenchman breaks out his guitar and plays for everyone sitting together.

Ages is old and charming. I take an afternoon stroll down a country lane. I am surrounded by sunflowers, and in the distance a farmer herds his sheep. The afternoon seems endless, and we wish for it to be, knowing that saying goodbye to one of our Camino family members this early on is going to be difficult.

Pilgrims enjoying the afternoon in Ages.

Tammy and Gill leave to get ready for dinner and I run into Pedro, who I haven’t seen since Logrono. We share a glass of vino tinto before I reconvene with Tammy and Gill for our last pilgrim’s dinner together.

We eat, we drink, we savor our last evening together, and we talk to Gill about a potential reunion with our entire Camino family in a couple of weeks time. We crawl up to our top bunks, sleep finding us quickly.

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