Thursday, October 29 – Day 49
I slept pretty well. I had a little trouble because I started out very cold, but he heat stayed on all night, so I got too warm.
By the time I had breakfast and got out the door it was 8:10. The sky was a white gray, with no visible clouds. Not a good sign. It rained pretty much all day long. Luckily it wasn’t quite as cold or as windy as yesterday.
I was trying to think if the rain was actually a good thing or not, because it was making it so I wanted to get where I was going quickly. I am worried, though, about all the rain. In France when I walked in a lot of rain I got a lung infection. I really don’t want to get sick again. I will stay in private rooms as much as I can, so maybe that will help. Not that I really need excuses to stay in private rooms.
The flatness of the Meseta really is good for walking quickly. I made it the 6k into Carrion in just over 1 hour. I stopped for another cup of hot chocolate and to use the bathroom. There was also an open church that I went in, and they wanted a 1 E donation.
From Carrion it was 17k to the next town. I suppose, on a day like today, I can see why some people skip this part, or multiple parts, of the Meseta.
Terri, from the other day, had said that the first time she did the Camino she bussed through so much of it that the amount she walked totaled less than a week. After walking from Sarria to Santiago (which is the minimum you have to walk to get the Compostela), it took her 7-8 days, and she was so exhausted, she had to go home earlier than planned. I think people who bus really don’t realize how much they’re missing at the time, or how much it takes away from the overall experience. I guess it depends on what people want, though.
I admit that I wouldn’t mind a motorized chair to come along and take me a k or two, but I really do want to walk every single step, and so far I have.
I do use my poles on the flat parts, and today especially they helped drive me along, keeping the rhythm going.
As I walked, the song I had in my head today was:
When you walk through a storm hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.
You’ll never walk alone.
Of course this song refers more to the storms of life than actual rain storms, because no one holds their head up in a rain storm. I certainly don’t.
I slept in my wool tights last night, and I kept them on this morning. I probably didn’t need them, because it was warmer than yesterday, but they did keep me quite warm.
I saw some men hunting with their dogs. It was amazing to watch. I think the dogs were greyhounds, and they were actually hunting rabbits. I saw the man stop, and point at something on the ground right next to him, and the rabbit took off and the dogs followed. I got a little bit of video, but I wish I’d started it sooner, because they were a bit closer at the beginning. Still, it was very cool to see. The dogs were also completely silent, which was very different from the hounds hunting the wild pigs.
After a total of 24k and 5 hours, I arrived at Calzadilla de la Cueza. It was 1 pm and the perfect time for lunch. I got a wonderful combo plate of steak, egg, fries, and a salad. I rested there for almost an hour.
As I was walking, my achilles tendon was rubbing on the back of my shoe. I don’t know why. I had to stop and adjust my sock a few times, but it kept rubbing. When I got to the restaurant I looked and sure enough I had a bloody spot on my sock. I used my first aid kit for the first time. I used a little neosporin and a bandaid. I don’t think it’s bad, I just hope it doesn’t keep doing it. There might have been something rough caught on the sock or the shoe. The last thing I need now is new foot problems!
I was thinking I had made good time and still felt pretty good, and might actually go past the next town. There really is a big difference between 24k and 29k, though. I stopped for the day at 29k in Ledigos. I got my own room for 12 E!
Enrique is here! He asked if I had seen Remi, so I told him I saw him standing on a balcony in a town two days ago, but I haven’t seen him since. Enrique said he has lumbago and went to the doctor to get some medicine. He said he’s feeling much better now, though.
I met Alex from Spain and Lena from Ireland. They had been at the albergue in Hontanas, but I didn’t actually meet them. There were probably 30 people there, which is the most I’ve ever seen in one place. They were bored with the very small, dead, town, so they spent a fair amount of time trying to help me book a hotel in Leon.
Ever since watching “The Way”, I had dreamed about staying the Parador in Leon, just like they do in the movie. I had really wanted to do it, even though it’s an expensive hotel. I hadn’t really planned on taking two days in Leon, but the weather app says it’s going to rain for another week, so maybe another rest day wouldn’t hurt. When I checked prices on Expedia, it was a super good deal for the two nights, until I went to book it and found out the quoted price was only for one night, and tax wasn’t included. So then Alex and Lena helped me look at other, cheaper, hotels to stay in for the two nights. But then Lena convinced me that I really did want to stay in the Parador, and I would regret it if I didn’t, and I really should treat myself. She’s totally right. I was balking a bit at the price, but it’s only twice as much as another hotel, and in the long run that’s not that much, and I’m in Spain, and it’s only money! But Alex was convinced he could find a better deal than Expedia, and he did. I think he saved me 23 USD.
So now it can rain all it wants for the next 3 days. I have two nights in the Parador to look forward to!! I will be walking on air. And, I will try to do most of my sight seeing on the first day, so I can stay in bed as much as possible on the second! I have never stayed in a 5 star hotel before, as far as I know. I hope I won’t feel too out of place, but I’ve heard that the staff really likes having pilgrims stay there.
I went to have dinner, and it was just me and one other person, Robert, from Germany. He started walking from Germany back in May. He had to take a break in the middle and go home and take care of some things, but now he’s back. He’s a Latin teacher, and he hates it. He said he’s on the camino to forget the awful things about teaching, and that’s also why he drinks, and he says he drinks entirely too much.
There was no choice on the pilgrim menu until dessert. We had soup, then pork chops with fries and a salad. The pork chops were excellent. I got the ice cream for dessert.
Robert is in the room next to me, and apparently the bottle of wine he took back to his room is agreeing with him. He’s singing. Haha, Alex knocked on his door and told him he could hear him as clearly as if they were in the same room and asked him to stop by 10 pm. He stopped now.