From Carrion de los Condes and then onwards to the following stops .. Terradillos de los Templarios, El Burgo Ranero, Arcahueja and La Virgen del Camino.
These four days I’ve not made many notes of however there were some memorable moments, of course there were. I might not tell them in chronological order, and not to the same detail as the other days.
Things that stand out, I crossed the geographical midway point of the Camino Frances. It was a weird thing to realise that I was more or less half way to Santiago de Compostela. It was sunny and of course I stopped to take some pictures however the only ones I could find was the ones where you see my shoes on the line crossing over it..
I learned later that you could get a certificate that you crossed the halfway point, however when I learned of it I was pretty much in Santiago already so it was a bit late for me to go back and get one.
Then there was Leon, when I arrived there I had been walking with Barabara for a time, but when I walked in to the city I was on my own, I arrived early so I found a cafe that was open right in front of the cathedral and had my coffee and a proper sandwich. The view was very nice and there were few people around… you could see the square around the cathedral springing to life as I sat there and ordered my second coffee. After a while I walked around and tried to find out when the cathedral opened to the public. As luck would have it it was not a long wait so I decided to hang around until it did and as I waited I spotted Barabra and we went in and looked around. It was absolutely magnificent and the audio guide was well worth the entrance cost, which I think was 10€ . It detailed the history of it and the reasons behind the various features of the architecture and art.
Before Leon however there was El Burgo Ranero which was an awesome stop… well not straight away. On my walk to El Burgo Ranero my blisters were fine, they had not given me any trouble at all but my tendinitis had returned. I was not happy about it, as it is not called the Camino killer for nothing. I was however confident that it was not a fully fledged flair up since it was not too painful but just prevented me from flexing my foot properly. So it was not painful it just made walking that more tiring and slowed down my pace a bit.
So when I reached El Burgo Ranero I was tired and very hungry… and I could not find the albergue .. eventually I asked some locals sitting outside the grocery store. With some improvised sign language and Camino Spanish I got both directions and compliments on my pronounciation of Spanish. With directions I found the municipal albergue as I approached I spotted the Danish boys (not Thor and Thorben, the others) they told me that it was full but that I should ask even so, in case they had some extra beds they could roll out.
They did not, but I was tipped of that there was another private albergue near by, after frantic searching I found it “La Laguna” where I met John (an American) and several others including Georgia and others who’s name I cannot remember. We had a marvellous time, we made a commute dinner and bought copious amounts of wine. The only downside was that I had to cancel my dinner reservations at a place that I had really wanted to experience. It was run by two pilgrims and they made a very good paella according to my guide and it was donativo as well, it seemed like the place that would have a very good atmosphere and very good company. However good that might have been, out dinner at the albergue was nothing to scoff at. We ate drank and were merry and it was brought to a close by a beutiful sunset … The albergue is a recommended stop from me, they had a garden and a nice kitchen and close to a grocery store that was well stocked.
I also finished listening to The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer during these days, I recommend this book to everyone I know and meet. It is a very good book even for people who don’t know who Amanda Palmer is, or know who she is and do not like her music or art.. the book is something else, it was well suited for the Camino. the right book for the right time it also helped that it was Amanda herself that narrated the book so she could really convey when she was joking… there is one bit of a review that stuck in my head… and I am paraphrasing here… “you could hear her eyerolling as she spoke about the …. ” but this not a book review.. so I’ll leave it at that.
I also realised in this period of time that I had an extra day to finish, I had gotten it in my head that my flight left a day earlier than it did. I had confused my planning a bit, but this made me slightly giddy since At those point a whole day extra took a bit of the stress of.. I was on schedule as it was but knowing that I could take an easy day or even a complete day off if I needed was an awesome discovery. Especially considering the fact that I was apprehensive about my tendinitis becoming worse.
In La Virgen del Camino me and Barabra made dinner together the albergue was nice and the kitchen and dining area was also a small library it was a strange thing, but it had a nice little park out front with some trees for shade. After dinner however Barbara found a poster that made her burst out in laughter …
If you don’t get it, I’ll give you a hint.. look at what time the German language sections tells you you need to be on your way and then compare it to the others….