Carrion de Los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
The shortest walk of the Camino so far was not, as it turned out, the march along the side of a main road we’d anticipated. In actual fact most of today’s route was through the countryside with which we’ve grown so familiar: fields filled with haystacks stretching for miles right and left, some lined with trees and bushes, others devoid of any notable characteristic other than the bales.
Despite the fact it was only 17km it felt longer – the dusty track did not wind, but rather stretched before us in a straight line off into the horizon. The sun shone, the temperature rose, and that was how it remained until we eventually reached the oasis of Calzadilla. Two coffees and a bowl of chickpea soup later all was once again on an even keel.
As our walk has progressed we have met people from all corners of the globe: we have chatted with Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Mexicans, a Filipino, Germans, a French Canadien (born in France, lives in Quebec ) and, of course, a number of Irish pilgrims. There are Brazilians, South Koreans, Spaniards (naturally), Czechs and Canadians from outwith the Quebec province.
Probably the largest presence from one country other than Spain is Australia. The Camino appears to be a pretty big deal in Oz. We expected to encounter more English people, but up till now have only met a mother and daughter from south of the border and a very pleasant big guy and his equally nice partner from Lancaster who again were serial Camino visitors.
Lots of peregrinos do the Camino in sections ranging from a week, to 10 days to a fortnight. The most common period seems to be 2 weeks. We have spoken to many Irish people who were on their second or third visit having elected to do it in sections, mostly due to work constraints. The same applies to some of the Americans, Aussies and Kiwis, who return despite the distances involved to knock off any part not yet walked.
There are others who have completed the Camino more than once but continue to be drawn back, claiming it “gets into your blood”. Some have travelled from starting points in France ( there are several in France it seems ) Belgium and beyond. Others have walked the alternative official Camino routes beginning in such places as Lisbon or Porto.
It is quite amazing the pull this journey exerts on people. There aren’t too many around who haven’t been here before. The thing is, we both reckon we can understand how they feel. Our journey so far has been such a positive experience that you could, I think, be quite easily tempted to return. Of course there’s still some way to go, so we’d best revisit this topic upon reaching Santiago!
Tomorrow we pass through Terradillos de Los Templarios, which marks the official half way point on the Camino. I think that means there will, by the time we complete tomorrow’s section, be less than 395km to go. That’s not bad !
The temperature over the next few days of the walk is to be about 27 degrees. More hot and dusty trails for us! Hopefully the scenery will be a bit more interesting and inspirational(ish). Perhaps a slightly earlier start tomorrow would be wise. Provided I can convince a certain punter to rise and shine.
Today’s album track is “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. We could have done with some today!