I was excited to see this marker as I left Carrion de la Condes today!
Leaving Burgos on Wednesday I saw a similar marker.
I have now walked over 100km on Camino 2.0!
Carrion de los Condes is a really nice town. As Camino villages go, it is on the large size but nothing I would call a city. Walking out of town we crossed a river via a Roman bridge. One downside of leaving in the dark is not being able to see these magnificent structures. Sorry, no picture of this bridge.
But, let me get to the highlights of the day. The scenery…oh the scenery! There was this in the beginning.
And then there was this!
To mix it up a bit, I took this picture.
So, this is the Meseta. If people are going to fast forward through any part of the Camino, chances are, this is it. As you can see, it is flat, straight and there isn’t much to look at.
Some people say of the Camino Francés, the first third is about your body, the second third about your mind and the last third about your spirit. When you see these pictures, it is easy to understand how the section I am now walking is about the mind. You have PLENTY of time to think and get into your own head if you are comfortable going there.
I started out this morning walking with Loretta and Claudia who I bumped into on the way out of town. I really enjoyed talking with both of them. Loretta told me about a program started by two brothers in Toronto called Me to We.
Their vision is: To empower people to transform local and global communities by shifting from “me” thinking to “we.” Me to We inspired Loretta and three other women to start an organization, Teachers Helping Teachers. They work with schools in Africa and help teachers develop strategies for more effective education.
The mother-daughter team went two towns ahead of me today. I hope I will see them again on our way to Santiago.
While there were no official services on our 17km trek today, there were a couple of food trucks within a half km of each other. About a half km before the first truck, a man was parked on the path telling pilgrims who would listen to walk past the first food stop and go to the Oasis because it has the best of everything.
The first stop was a sweet little vintage camper converted into a food truck. We imagined if that wasn’t the best one, the Oasis must be really great. Sadly, we were duped; it wasn’t good.
Loretta and Claudia ended up throwing out their coffee which was the first they had that morning. I ordered a sandwich and changed my mind when I saw questionable hygiene as the sandwiches were being made. Live and learn. Trust your instincts. Ultreia!
After our break I said goodbye to my walking companions and headed out on my own. I walked most of the rest of the way alone until I came upon Lynn. She serves as an interim minister in the Schenectady, NY area. She has a bad knee but her pace was good. I hope I meet up with her again.
There was a berm on the path and when we crested the top, poof, there was the town I was staying in tonight. It was 11:15am! I easily could have gone further; this is the price I pay for having reservations for the next several nights.
I was hungry for my second breakfast. I looked at the offerings and one thing caught my eye. Maybe it was some type of egg casserole??? I struggled to communicate with the man behind the counter to ask what it was and before I knew it I was eating lasagna for breakfast.
It was good. Just not what I was jonesing for.
Loretta and Claudia showed up and finally got a good cup of coffee. They headed off to the next town and I checked into my Hostal which was down the road just 100 meters or 50 meters depending on which sign you believed. My room is ok, but not great. I sulked for a little while feeling sorry for myself being stuck in this one horse town for the entire day. I took a walk around it and 5 minutes later, I was back where I started.
I decided I would spend the afternoon planning out the rest of my stops to Santiago. (Yep, yesterday I gave up on communal living and today I am throwing in the towel on spontaneity, despite my lesson in what happens when you are committed to a town because of a room reservation!)
By mid-afternoon I was hungry for some lunch so I headed back to the lasagna joint for a chorizo bocadilla and a beer. It wasn’t that great so I went back to my room and did more planning…with another beer.
I didn’t plan on having dinner because I have been enjoying eating my big meal midday. But that sandwich wasn’t satisfying and I decided to have the Pilgrim menu. The only restaurant open in town is where I am staying.
The weirdest thing is that all the same people who were working in the first restaurant in town were now here, but with different shirts on. These are industrious people! They work long hard days and then they work long hard nights! The three other people I sat with were all solo; each very interesting. The woman is a nurse in Perth Australia (she also happens to be the one who had to turn off the alarm on my phone a couple of mornings ago). One of the men was from Brazil and the other from the Netherlands.
The conversation was broad and interesting from the Brazilian’s hike up Kilimanjaro this spring, to the effect of decriminalizing drugs in Holland to 1000 km hikes the Australian has done.
The Brazilian was uber-fit. We compared notes on our paces. He showed me his splits tracked by his Garmin and I showed him mine from my Apple Watch. I think he was surprised at how similar our times were today!
Dinner was really good. We were “sold” a homemade meal and it was.
I had pork ribs again. It is amazing how good pork ribs are without the smoking and BBQ’ing we do to them in the US.
So, by the time dinner was over, I was in love with this town, the place I am staying and the people – both the pilgrims and the locals.
Tomorrow I head to Sahagun. It is a larger city and the halfway point of the Camino Francés. While I understand I can collect a Halfway certificate there, I certainly don’t feel I have earned any certificate yet. Tomorrow will only be my 6th day of Camino 2.0.
Shout Out to the Stretch Out Strap
I have been using a woven strap for stretching for years, but recently discovered the Stretch Out Strap that is just a fancier version of the tie down strap I have been using.
I find it very helpful for stretching because of all of the loops in it. I cut the strap and only took half of it with me to save weight. Half is plenty and it has been so helpful. My lower back has been a little soar (please don’t tell Ray) and the stretching I have been doing 2-3 times a day is invaluable.
As I sat there with my coffee, orange juice and Lasagna this morning watching all of the pilgrims pass by, I felt I had made a big mistake not planning to go one or two towns further. But, the Camino provides and today’s lesson was that everything happens for a reason. I had a super relaxing day; it was almost a rest day! I met interesting people, had a great meal and fell in love with the local entrepreneurs.