We left Valverde de la Virgen later than usual and in the light rain. It was cool but not too bad for walking. We had a good night and the albergue hosts left breakfast out for each of us, including a note saying thanks in each of our respective languages.
We walked through small towns and made our way towards the town where we had booked an albergue, San Justo de la Vega. It was supposed to be a 34 km day. We had booked ahead so we’re just going to take our time getting there. And we got overtaken by pilgrims on horseback…
After we had stopped in Santibanez, we carried on, past some monuments and hoodoos. It was starting to get quite hot out, and we were just going to power through the last 10 km to the town we were staying in.
What happened next was the worst mistake a pilgrim can make. There was an intersection with a Camino sign and an arrow that pointed left. Going the left way, we could see pilgrims ahead. There was three Brazilians ahead of us and they also turned left. We thought about this. We looked for footprints in the dirt, and there was a lot that went left. So, we went left.
The thing that people tell you is to never, ever follow pilgrims if you have second guesses about where they are headed. Needless to say, we followed, realized it was wrong and detoured back to another Camino route. Total cost: about 4-6 extra kms in the heat.
Thankfully we made it to where we were supposed to be….and we could see Astorga in the distance. It was a long hot day.