Today I took a bus from Sahagun to where I should have stayed last night had I not gotten sick. I then walked from El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas. I am back on track!
It turns out the bus system is a major transporter of pilgrims along the Camino from what I could tell. Some people immediately offer an excuse when they showed up at the stop. One woman had a bad knee and was going to do half the distance each day necessitating her to take the other half by bus. She figures it is better for her knee and will enable her to complete her walk.
Another woman needed to get to León where she planned to meet her son in the city today.
It is great to know the bus option is there if you need it. There is also a train out of Sahagun, but it didn’t stop in the town I wanted to start walking from.
Before the bus arrived I had a chance to take some pictures with the morning light on the monastery. I am really eager to paint the scenes I am capturing later this winter.
The 15 minute bus ride that would have taken me 5 hours to walk is a big reminder of just how darned long walking takes compared to other modes of transportation.
I spoke with a couple of women at breakfast from Oregon who are biking the entire Camino. They aren’t going particularly fast, but are covering three times the distance as I in the same amount of time. I think that typical riders would cover more like 4-5 walking stages per day. Of course, on the tough hills they are pushing their heavily packed bike up very slowly and then taking everything they have to control their bike on the way down.
Coincidently the bus stop was right at the hostel I was supposed to stay at last night so I picked up right where I should have left off. The only difference is that my normal start time is closer to 7am than the 10am this morning which means I will be getting in later than normal.
We are still on the very flat part of the Camino so the walking is pretty easy; of course walking 11+ miles a day is never easy, but relatively, it is.
The temps and weather could not have been better. Honestly that has been the case for the entire 8 days. I know I am very lucky.
I like to stop and reflect at the memorials and markers along the way. Some are for specific pilgrims and others are just markers for the Camino.
The sky was beautiful and the cloud formations a great subject for future paintings.
I past another reforestation project. What I don’t understand is why they plant in perfect rows. I need to do more research. Here you can see that this was a multi year project with a lot of newer trees more recently planted.
Little encouraging signs along the way really help.
I stopped for “lunch” and this is what worked with my BRAT diet from the offerings at the bar. But it worked and I was on my way.
I walked a little while with Eva and Leah from Canada. They didn’t know each other before meeting a few weeks ago in Logrono. Leah’s best friend threw in the towel there and went home. Eva met her walking out of town and they have walked together since then. They are now best buddies.
One thing they are doing that I found interesting is they are both listening to the same audio book and are roughly at the same point. They books have heard so far have held Camino messages; at least that is what they have gleaned from them. So it is like a walking book club. I hope I bump into them again.
I had lunch at the Pension I am staying at. They have a beautiful courtyard for dining. I had scrambled eggs :-(. Fingers crossed I can get off of the BRAT regimen tomorrow when I get to León!
I took a walk around town and bought some bananas and an apple for my nighttime snack.
This is a sweet town. It feels like there is money here. As I was eating lunch George Clooney’s twin came in for an espresso. He was dressed very well and obviously lives here. I love the lifestyle of people in Spain. They stop for a mid afternoon coffee. Not a venti choco mocha latte frappe ordered at the drive through, but for a demitasse cup of espresso and a small treat and, most important, conversation. It is a lovely tradition.
I am enjoying my solitary time. I haven’t yet found my Camino family. It might not happen. I am not staying in dorms and I know that doesn’t help. I have talked with several people and have enjoyed the conversation, but most of these people are lone walkers like me. I am sure that not feeling well hasn’t helped either. I just wanted to go into a corner and be by myself. But I am loving every step of the Way!