May 17, 2007

5/17/07 El Burgo Ranero

"We are human beings first and last. Our religion is our faith in humanity - and there can be no greater religion than that."

Ah, in the lap of luxury, it was awfully hard to get going this morning. We finally left a little before 8AM, a very late start. And at Calzada del Coto just outside the city, we got a bit confused because there are two routes; The Camino Real & The Camino Romano.

Henrietta crosses the Del Canto Bridge

Highway sign

Almost the whole day, we followed a gravel path along the road, with the only shade provided by small trees lining the Camino. Otherwise, we were surrounded by farm fields. And the only sounds were the many trucks on the nearby highway.

Not much shade

Sharing the road

You could dozens of pilgrims ahead on the path. At one point, I think my mind just got tired the 'running' to get a bed in the next town. I finally decided it didn't matter. I was going to go my own pace, and if I had to sleep in a doorway somewhere, that was ok too.

It was amazing how fast the temperature kept rising. Definitely didn't want to be walking under an afternoon sun. I had plenty of sun screen and used a bandanna to cover my neck.

A typical brick watertower

Again, I was shocked by the transformation along the Camino when I reached El Burgo Ranero. Five years ago, about the only thing here was the refugio and the restaurant across the street. Now, there is a store and two more private refugios. And I'm sure the highway truck stop has brought more business to town. If the refugio had changed, I wouldn't have recognized the town at all.

Henriette made it to town, but her foot is hurting pretty bad. My other Henriette has decided to go on so she can spend more time in Leon. After eating some lunch, I said goodbye. I'll miss her.

Henriette & Henriette

We are staying at one of the new private albergues called 'La Laguna'. The best part is there is a huge yard in which to lounge around in. And us pilgrims like to do anything but more walking. [smile]

Had a quiet dinner with Henriette. Well, it was quiet if you liked the clang-clang of the bells on the sheep grazing across the street. Henriette is taking the bus tomorrow to Leon, giving her foot a rest. She's amazed that the bus only takes 25 minutes but will take me two days to walk.

Restaurant dining with sheep grazing across the street

For several days the three of us have talked about bad health habits we have and what we should be doing. Even though I've been lugging this backpack for 18 days straight halfway across Spain, I think I've gained weight. Too much fattening food and ice cream. So, I'm trying to have fruit for snacks and eating more salads, but getting rid of my sweet tooth is proving a harder beast to tame.