September 29, 2002

9/29/02 Terradillos de los Templarios

27 km

Last night in the large Carrión refugios, things were pretty rowdy. But it was Saturday night after all. After lights out, a few wanted to continue some social drinking but the hospitalero kept catching them. Loud Spanish scolding could be heard throughout the alburgue.

I couldn't believe it, but there was somebody who snored louder than me, and they continued steadily throughout the night without any change. So, when I woke at 6am, it was difficult to go back to sleep. Ended up packed and out the door by 7am under a night sky full of stars.

My map sense always seems off kilter. Just leaving town in the dark, I took a wrong turn. If I hadn't seen other pilgrims heading off in the correct direction, who knows where I would have ended up. Stopped for a few minutes to watch the sunrise with Larissa. It was slow in coming but it did illuminate the road and the dozens of pilgrims headed our way.

Watching the sun come up behind more pilgrims

The first leg of our journey today was like being back home in the Midwest. The Camino was ruler-straight for seventeen kilometers through acres and acres of fields. Some thought it was boring but I felt at home. A little chilly starting out but it soon became hotter as the sun finally made it over the horizon.

Roads straight as in Kansas

As with all the pueblos in this part of Spain, Calzadilla de la Cueza surprised us when it suddenly appeared in a valley hidden below these plains. Stopped off for a sandwich but before I could leave, Larissa and Virginíe arrived and invited me back in for a coke.

It was noon and now it really felt like hot Kansas weather. With no shade, the Camino began to roast pilgrims as we made our way west. In Ledigos, I had to wait until Sunday mass was over to visit the church. Catiana from Finland was outside looking for the alburgue. Despite copious amounts of white sunblock, she was beet red with sunburn, especially on the back of her legs. I keep forgetting she just started in Burgos and hasn't developed that leather skin hikers love so much.

Walking down into Ledigos

The hospitalero seemed a little miffed that I only wanted a sello (a stamp for my credential) but wasn't going to stay there. I decided to keep going on because there's another private refugio another four kilometers away. When I finally arrived at the alburgue in Terradillos de los Templarios, I saw a few familiar faces, among them Claude and Jesse.

A little color

I almost forgot, we passed the halfway point between St Jean and Santiago. So, for a guy with a too heavy backpack, wearing sandals on the road every day, I haven't done too bad in only seventeen days (total: 394 km, avg: 23 km/day, high: 31 km).

Although the building's outside appearance might be deceptive, I'm at a very nice refugio. Only four beds to a room and they have a store and restaurant. You might expect prices in their little store to be higher since the pilgrims are sort of captive, but everything was as inexpensive as anywhere on the Camino

At dinner, everyone seemed to gravitate to tables of similar language. There was the French table, the Spanish table, the German table and I sat at the English table. Besides Camille, Jesse and Chris, the new guys with us are Brad and Ben, brothers from Wisconsin. Cool guys. A great dinner with very good dinner companions.