Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Onward, always onward

Hello, everyone.

Before I forget, I want to mention one other thing about Carreon de los Condes: there was an American hospitalera there. She was talking about her pilgrimage with us--it was rain, rain, rain and when she walked the hills by Atapuerca it was nothing but wet, sticky clay. And she is active in American Pilgrims on the Camino--they do conventions, apparently. She was working there for two weeks, she told us, and then she'd do two more weeks in Santiago. "Maybe I'll see you there," she said.

But back to getting in to Sahagun:
View from the trail toward a small range of hills in the midst of the meseta

Lovely little chapel/ermita (Virgen del Puente?) at end of medieval bridge--note the stone surface.

What is left of the medieval walls of Sahagun. The city was sacked by Al-mansur and had to be resettled from scratch later.
Santiago watching us as we go by

Many of the houses in the old town had tile murals by the door.
We had intended to find a post office in Sahagun, a biggish city according to the guidebook, and mail unneeded things home. We walked all the way through and didn't see it--there were historical monuments, including the ruins of an old monastery from when Sahagun was first occupied, which we enjoyed seeing. But the vagaries of the Camino trail routing, plus our lack of a map, meant that we had neither sight of a post office nor any idea where it might be. And it was much too early to stop for the day--only about 10:30 if I remember it right.

We kept on, veered left onto the graded roadside path (Real Camino Frances instead of the "natural path" through Calzadilla de los Hermanillos) when the trail split, and after much buffeting by wind got to El Burgo Ranero about 3. There are several albergues in this town, which sits on top of a mesa. Every one of them was full.

We got a room ("habitation") at the hostel over one of the bars instead. Sheets! A real bed! And our own bathroom with our own shower. Luxury.

At the other bar, we ate the menu del dia, which included Garlic Soup Leon Style (yum! and a poached egg on top) which almost filled me up by itself.

That night, the promise made by the strong south winds was fulfilled. A blue norther blew in at bedtime, and the patio outside the window made moving-chair noises off and on until about 3 in the morning, along with the pounding rain and the lightning. I was just grateful that the storm had waited until we went to bed, and grateful again when it stopped before we had to get up.

I was homesick, but I knew the only way home was through Santiago and to Madrid for our plane reservations three weeks or so in the future. We had about 355 km to go to Santiago.