September 28, 2002

9/28/02 Carrión de los Condes

25 km

Another clear crisp morning but I decided to switch back to sandals. But instead of wearing socks and cinching the sandals up tight, I'm barefoot and the straps are kind of loose. It worked out perfectly. My feet feel great.

One beautiful highlight was walking along the Canal de Castella, especially with the early morning mist rising off the surface as the sun came up. We crossed a series of canal locks as we entered Frómista.

Fields as far as the eye can see over the canal

I feel like I'm back home in Kansas as I walk past huge grain silos near the train tracks. We arrived in town just as the doors of the Iglesia de San Martín were opening. This reduced-scale replica of the Jaca Cathedral was amazing because of the 100+ capitals and 315 corbels, all different but with remarkable detail. I wish I could have got a closer look at some of them.

Grain silos just like in Kansas

Iglesia de San Martín

Do ya' see the tractor behind Larissa and me?

At Revenga de Campos, I stopped for a lunch break and Larissa soon joined me. Like a lot of the solo pilgrims I'm meeting, I really enjoy the exchange of viewpoints and ideas from other parts of the world. As we walked, the heat increased but it didn't seem to dampen our conversation.

If possible, this landscape is even starker than before Burgos. It's farther and farther between trees or any green at all. But for all that, I'm constantly seeing farmers out in the fields preparing them for winter. Unlike Kansas, the land is more rolling than flat. But when the afternoon sun is cooking your scalp, I sure would appreciate a tree or two.

Tractors out in the fields

Had another reunion in town as Isaac met me at the door of the alburgue. He said that most everyone else is ahead and moving fast. Alfonzo is here too, along with Claude, Jessie and Chris. Got cleaned up and took a walk.

Inside the Monastery

Went to the Iglesia de Santiago because I wanted to look at the archvolts representing various medieval occupations. Unfortunately I couldn't go in because of a wedding. Took the long way to the Monasterio de San Zoilo where the attendant gave me the pilgrim discount even though I left my credential back at the refugio.

The highlight of the evening though was a simple picnic dinner at one of the city's fountains with Larissa and Virginíe who is from France. We all seem to be at that same place mentally and spiritually in our viewpoints about the incredible possibilities that travel like the Camino can give a person. And this despite differences in our age, background and culture. But as Larissa translated back and forth from French then English, it was as if we were of the same mind. A very fun exchange with lots of freedom to laugh at ourselves and the lives we are leading.