The albergue at San Ildefonso was very cosy and warm – I can’t recommend it highly enough. We had no idea until we rose and looked out of the window that it had been snowing during the night. It continued as we walked out – not a lot, and not for long, but wow, that was a chilly start to the day
We walked along the main road into Segovia, the 601. There was a comfortable sand path alongside the road all the way and it wasn’t unpleasant. In fact it was easy walking and we made a very good pace for the 12 km into the heart of the city. I had on most of my walking clothes – short sleeve merino wool T-shirt, arm warmers, fleece, runner’s tights, hiking skirt and rain jacket, plus my visor and small buff over my head and ears and long buff wrapped three times around my neck. I didn’t use my walking poles because I wanted to keep my hands less exposed, but they were still freezing inside my thin gloves, although my body was warm enough.
There was a very sharp wind that drove us on to walk at full speed.
We arrived into Segovia at around 10:30 and found a cafe right under the famous aqueduct for a warming drink and scrambled egg breakfast. It was delicious. We relaxed, ordered another drink and finally left over an hour later. We had established that there were two options to deposit our backpacks whilst we played tourist around this beautiful city. The bus station has lockers and a hostal offers a left luggage service. We later realised that this was the place that Eli, Carsten and Ralf had stayed the previous night. So we walked a few minutes from the aqueduct to The Hostel Duerme Vela (www.duermevelwhostel.com, tel 691 282 445 / 921 047 004) and left our packs for a fee of 3 euros each. It was a wonderful feeling to wander the city unencumbered.
The architecture is charming, the aqueduct is a sight to behold, the cathedral is magnificent and the castle could feature in a Disney film.
We met up with Eli in the castle and then ate a fabulous lunch in a restaurant Eli had experienced the previous night. Tuma serves excellent food with good vegan and vegetarian options. We all ordered a menu del dia for 11.50 euros and I brought half of my main course away for supper. Yum!
We went to collect our packs. Eli was very impressed with the accommodation and service and the place is very central, charge 18 euros for shared room. The receptionist recommended an alternative to the ‘official’ camino route for making out way the few kms to Zamarramala. And we were very glad we took her advice. The walk was delightful, through a park, alongside a river and finally a climb up to the village, with stunning views from the valley up to the castle and cathedral high above.
En route we passed by this tiny new-born donkey, so new that he hadn’t yet learned how to make his enormous ears stand on end.
I clocked 5 km from the hostal to The albergue at Zamarrramala, making a total of 17 kms of camino walking (and about 6 km of tourist walking around the city). The albergue was built in 2014, has 20 beds on the ground floor two gender-specific bathrooms, a good kitchen and reception area. There was lashings of hot water and we were able to control the radiators. Everything is shiny and new. I believe there are another 20 beds upstairs. A hospitalero is present from 14:30 to 21:00 and at other times it is possible to collect a key and register in the local shop and bars. No wifi. 8 euros. An excellent facility.
All in all I had a wonderful day. The icy wind eventually dropped mid afternoon and as we walked the last stage alongside the river I was finally able to divest myself of a few layers. We were even treated like celebrities when some American youths asked to take our photo and we impressed them with our combined camino accomplishments. Four pilgrims with 17 Camino’s already walked prior to this one!
We have parted company with Carsten and Ralf for the time being as they have walked on, but hopefully we will see them again along the way.
Today’s distance 17 km
Total distance 121 km
Average per day 24.2 km