Day 31 (October 10, 2015) – 18.6 km., Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

Walking into Leon wasn’t as tedious and the highway wasn’t as dangerous as we expected. No doubt all the kindnesses we were showered with this morning buoyed us up and took the edge off anything negative for the rest of the day. I felt so full to overflowing with an urge to “pay it forward,” even if it was with just a smile and a “buenos dias” in passing others. What a cheerful day! They keep getting better and better. Continue reading

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Day 30 (October 9, 2015) – 24.5 km., Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas

Today we followed in the footsteps of Roman Emperor Augustus! The road we followed is the most perfect stretch of Roman road left in Spain. While Augustus would have travelled with a retinue of servants that aren’t available to us, we had to look after ourselves by making sure our water bottles were full and that we had some food with us before leaving Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. It was hard to find, but yesterday evening we eventually found the one and only tienda (grocery store) in Calzadilla and picked up a couple packages of nuts and a package of chocolate chip cookies. We ate the whole package of cookies before noon – shame on us!

We left the albergue in Calzadilla at 7:45 a.m., just as it was beginning to get light. The walk started out much like yesterday, so cold that I pulled out a pair of wool socks from my backpack and wore them on my hands. The sky was blue, the terrain was mostly flat with few asphalt roads, no towns, houses, or water. It went on like that for almost twenty kilometers. Continue reading

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Day 29 (October 8, 2015) – 14.5 km., Sahagun to Calzadillos de los Hermanillos

We were a noisy bunch of chatterboxes at breakfast this morning. The little woman serving us kindly asked us to be quiet in consideration of the nuns who were sleeping upstairs. We stayed at the Convent de Santa Cruz, part of which is an albergue maintained by voluntary hospitaleras. The money raised goes towards helping poor children in Peru fulfill their dreams of becoming teachers, doctors, ballerinas, etc. You don’t mind paying extra for blankets and a phone call when the money goes towards a good cause like that. Continue reading

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Day 28 (October 7, 2015) – 16.3 km., Ledigos to Sahagun

According to our calculations, Dave and I have walked four hundred and forty-four kilometers in the last four weeks. (It seems longer when you spell 444 out!) On September 10th we were back in St. Jean Pied de Port getting ready to take our first step and now we are more than half way to Santiago de Compostella. Each day has been different and memorable. We think fondly about the people we’ve met along the way and wonder how they are doing, where they are now, and whether we will catch up with them. These memories will always be treasured as well as those we have yet to create as we continue on our journey. Continue reading

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Day 27 (October 6, 2015) – 22.5 km., Carrion de los Condes to Ledigos

Music transformed what was, to me, an intolerable morning into a good one.  Tania said there would come a time on the Camino that I would want to listen to tunes, so she lent me her iPod and put my favourite inspirational music on it along with her favourites. What I was most grateful for today was her upbeat music. It turned me into The Road Runner with Wile E. Coyote (Dave) in hot pursuit. What fun! Continue reading

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Day 26 (October 5, 2015) – 0 km., Carrion de los Condes

Staying here at the Hotel Real Monasterio San Zoilo for a second night is just what the doctor ordered. Last night Dave wasn’t feeling well enough to have dinner and was in bed by 8 o’clock. I went by myself to the casual, glassed-in restaurant on the hotel grounds for pizza and cerveza. I was happy to be warm and protected from the teaming rain and strong wind. The swirling yellow leaves from all the yellow deciduous trees in the garden made a spectacular scene. Needless to say, all the cars in the parking lot were plastered with leaves. Fall is here and what a beautiful season it is, especially last night. Continue reading

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Day 25 (October 4, 2015) – 6.6 km., Villalcazar de Sirga to Carrion de los Condes

This was a good day for humming that old Johnny Ray song, “Just walking in the rain.” It was actually the first day that the sky has been completely overcast with no patches of blue anywhere. It was windy as well in the afternoon and the autumn leaves were flying! At least it was the shortest walking day so far, all of it being alongside the main road between Villalcazar and Carrion.

The reason we walked only 6.6 km is because we wanted to stay at the Real Monasterio de San Zoilo Hotel. The monastery was built in the 11th century, has been restored as a hotel and is a national monument. What better place to relax and let it rain if it wants to. Continue reading

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Day 24 (October 3, 2015) – 16.9 km., Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga

Today we had a choice to make and it was a “no brainer!” We could either take the “pilgrim autopistas” alongside the main road all the way from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga or take the scenic way that follows a tree-lined riverside path. Between Fromista and Poblacion de Campos before the two routes divide, we did get a taste of the “pilgrim autopistas.” Continue reading

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Day 23 (October 2, 2015) – 25.2 km., Castrojeriz to Fromista

Sometimes what you think is a bad thing turns out to be good after all. Getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning to walk 25.2 km. doesn’t sound like something most people would want to do. When you stay in an albergue and share a dormitory with thirty people, that’s exactly what you do. The first person wakes up early and the zipping and unzipping of their backpack is your “alarm clock.” Today we were glad of the early start. It was going to be a fantastic day! Continue reading

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Day 22 (October 1, 2015) – 20.2 km., Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

We were the last to leave our albergue this morning. Avoiding the Camino rush hour was one of the reasons for our later departure and, also, we only intended to walk as far as Hontanas, a distance of 10.8 km. No albergue is ready to accept a new influx of peregrinos until at least noon, so there is no point in arriving earlier. Continue reading

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