Mika and I waited at the cozy Hotel El Castrejon hoping the rain would subside. The guide suggests a 37K walk but with the rains we will walk just 15 as there is a municipal albergue in San Bartolome de Pinares.
Nearing 10 the rain slowed to a drizzle though it was cold. After walking through town we ascended 400 meters passing through areas with large boulders, pine forests and beautiful hillside views.
Unfortunately as we walked the rain picked up and we were walking in fog for a good part of it. It was tolerable as the first 1 ½ hour walking up 400 meters kept us warm but reaching the upper plain, the wind increased and the rain continued.
Just before the plateau we reached Arrebatacapas Pass at 1,068 meters which explained the increased cold. The stinging rain only made it worse.
Toward the end we opted to just take the road the last 4K as it was foggy, wet, and cold. By the time we reached San Bartolome de Pinares I was in a state of frequent shivering being cold to the bone. Mika was struggling as well. The Ayuntamiento (local government office) was closed but a kind local guy made a call for us as we stood outside in the rain jumping up and down to keep warm.
An older guy arrived 10 minutes later and walked us to the municipal albergue which was fairly new and cozy and clean with some comfy sitting chairs. It took awhile but the space heaters warmed us up nicely. Bar La Plaza, located between the albergue and Ayuntamiento had good food though no Meñu del dia. The first course of steaming hot seafood soup was perfect.
Of course there were no other pilgrims so as always we have had the albergues to ourselves. The route was actually more like 17K but it sure felt much longer. Municipal Albergue phone number: 605 349 788.