Last night at the restaurant attached to our accommodation we met another pilgrim/walker doing the route. Our only one! He only spoke Spanish but we managed to discuss our walking. He was solo and had walked several Caminos and many times back and forth from Alicante where he lived and Bilbao where he was born. He was wiry, fit and 71! The food at the restaurant was not as good as we have had elsewhere though Andy said his pork and ratatouille was really good. We have eaten so much ratatouille I decided to pass and have salmon. It was tasty and fresh but had bones and I found it a bit rich. No green vegetables only potatoes! I will look like a potato when I get home because they are served with everything.
Today Andy Peter and I completed the stage from Atienza to Miedes de Atienza. 15km. Karen took us back to Atienza. Crossing back over the highest point Alto de la Callascosa 1380 metres, the mountain was shrouded in mist. It had a feel of alpine terrain with few trees.
It was a lovely walk past some fancy gates to what looked like nowhere, a melodic mob of sheep and their shepherd, into pine forest and down through farm land again to the little hamlet of Romanillos.
We were charmed by the sheep and their bells though I did get a start when the protector dog barked furiously at us and came charging out of the herd. The shepherd called out and he became friendly coming up for a sniff. Here the shepherds have two sorts of dogs. One like border collies, that work the stock and the other type is bigger and deeper in the bark which is to protect the sheep from wolves etc. There are no fences so the older sheep have bells and act as guides for the rest.
When we arrived at Romanillos we were delighted to see Karen waiting for us. She had walked halfway to meet us and had met a group of women who had been out getting Zucchinis and were going to sell them in Atienza. Karen had arrived and was disappointed to find the bar closed but the owner, who was going somewhere, opened the bar so Karen could use the toilet at least. People are very helpful here. I was impressed by the chair made from pallets at the entrance to the village. After we had rested we set off to finish the distance. Peter and I came into Miedes ahead of Karen and Andy and a jolly fellow asked us where we were going. He realised our Spanish was limited and switched to English. It was excellent English too and he told us where the bar was and it was only open on the weekends. He also recommended pork ribs with beer!
We picked up the car and returned to Retortillo for a lazy afternoon washing and playing cards.