We had a good night at the Convent of Santa Clara and left at about 7am this morning, walking through quiet, sleepy streets - only the local Panaderia with lights on and a corner Cafe-Bar doing a brisk trade with pilgrims in cafe-con-leche and pastries. We walked over the river Carrion and past the Benedictine monastery of San Zoilo that is now a hotel and museum. I saluted when we passed Don Trigo´s poster and pile of stones and picked one up that I will post to Pieter for him to lay on Trigo´s grave.
After more than 2 weeks of walking we have fallen into a general routine. Marion, being the fastest walker is usually up ahead with me in the middle and Anneliese bringing up the rear. Every now and then Marion will slow down so that I catch up and we walk together, sometimes chatting, sometimes singing, sometimes just enjoying the scenery. Then she slows down and walks with Anneliese for a while. After a couple of kms she will pass me again and take her place up front. I hardly ever stop or even slow down and when I am in the ZONE - a part of the camino itself, I don't even hear other pilgrims passing me. I have been singing songs long forgotten - heaven knows where the words have popped out from! Ke Sera Sera: Pack up your troubles: GI Blues etc. When my heels were really painful, I sang the Open Air School song over and over again. Marion and I belted out All Things Bright and Beautiful the other day and we now have an official camino song, sung to the tune of the American ditty - I've been working on the railroad. Our words are:
"We are walking el Camino,
all the live long day.
We are walking el camino
along the ancient ways.
When we get to Santiago,
we will hug St James.
And we'll get a Compostela,
to prove we've walked the way."
The scenery along the way is beautiful. Different from the meseta in spring when the wheat fields are waist high and ripple like waves in the breeze (very similar to the sugarcane fields back home). Now all the wheat has been harvested and only a very neat stubble is left so that it looks like mowed lawns in a highveld winter. Some fields have large piles of manure - awaiting ploughing. There are the late remnants of sunflowers - Marion calls them 'Granny faces' because they are all wrinkled and brown like giant walnuts!
From Carrion to Calzadilla - a 17km stretch along a rocky, stony path, we managed to walk about 12min per km. We stopped for a cafe-Americano (large coffee cup instead of small Espresso) and then continued on to Ledigos where we had planned to stay. The albergue was closed and being Sunday, there wasn't much open so me decided to continue walking another 2.5kms to Terradillos de los Templarios. On the way, a guy on a motorbike drove up to us and handed us a brochure on a new albergue called Albergue las Templarios. We saw it on the side of the road as we approached the town and checked in. We had a hot shower, and we are now in the cafeteria using one of two Internet facilities.
I have been carrying miniature Amarulla liquer bottles and will leave 3 at the home of Rebekah Scott in Moratino tomorrow. It is only 3km away so they will probably be asleep as we pass but I will leave a message with the bottles when we pass. We now have a slightly shorter day and we will walk to Bercianos de Real Camino. We will pass through a fairly large town called Sahagun where I hope to post another package of brochures home.
Love to you all
S A M