May 14, 2007

5/14/07 Carrion de los Condes

A very cold morning today. I'm not sure it will rain, but there are clouds in the sky and the winds are picking up again. Actually didn't get out of the albergue until after 7AM. But it was nice to have a cafe there so I could get a hot cocoa before heading out onto the Camino.


A cold start this morning

I talked with my bunkmate, a German girl, who said she was thinking of getting off the Camino and going to the coast. Like a lot of solitary pilgrims, she was hoping for a more contemplative pilgrimage. But with all these people, especially her fellow Germans, it was like she never left home. Those alone are definitely the minority on the Camino this year, with most folks traveling in two's or three's. Every day I watch as pilgrims pass every church and chapel without a second glance, but the roadside cafes you will find lots of pilgrims having their morning coffee or afternoon beer.

A lot of people complain about the crowding on the Camino this year. But in retrospect, I'm sure it was the same during the height of the Middle Ages. The poor walked, always worrying if they were going to get a bed for the night or something to eat. While the rich road horses or had their bags carried, stayed in the nicer places and ate meals with those of their own social class. Seems just like this year. There are businesses that will carry your bags ahead for you, private albergues that will reserve a bed for you, and there are plenty of buses to speed you past the boring parts of the Camino. Yeah, seems the same.

The sun kept shining despite the clouds, but it was bitterly cold. I ended up putting on my windbreaker, then my rain jacket and put on my rain skirt just to keep some of the wind off my legs. Nothing to do but just keep walking into the wind, trying to remind yourself that at least it wasn't raining and the sun was out.

Passed through Fromista, Poblacion de Campos, and Villovieco. I had thought of stopping in Villalcazar de Sirga but the refugio didn't open for another 4 hours and it was a small refugio. Better to leave those beds to folks that might need them more than me.


Pilgrim statue outside a restaurant in Villalcazar



Heaven


Walked the last few kilometers into Carrion de los Condes with Elena. We keep crossing paths even though I keep thinking she's ahead of me. I was lucky to see the small 'refugio' sign at the Convento de Santa Clara. I'm there with Henrietta. Then while getting a bit of lunch ran into Helio. He had to take a day off because of what he thought was tendinitis. It's better today but he sees the doctor this evening. And Alexandra is staying at the other refugio. Barbara decided to stop at Villalcazar. But the surprise of the day was that I got an email from Betty and she's one day behind me. Looks like she's doing better and might even pass me in the coming days.


Storks in the bell tower



Statue in front of the Iglesia de Santa Maria

I have a feeling that almost everyone I know is going to be passed me soon, probably by the time we reach Leon. That's ok, but sad too. I have made such good friends this trip. Everything else doesn't matter when compared to that.