TERRADILLOS de los TEMPLARIOS to EL BURGO RANERO — 20 MILES
This morning came all too quickly and I just wanted to stay in bed. I knew it would be another long day but I wasn’t anxious to leave in the dark again. I skipped breakfast because I’m never hungry in the mornings and here on the Camino what they consider to be breakfast is coffee, toast and jam.
Dick walked me out the door at 7 am. It was cold but light out and I was glad I had bundled up again. The path ran right in front of our Albergue and other Trekkers were there so I felt confident about where I was going. Once on the path I passed an Asian woman and said “Buen Camino” and she said “Oh, you backpack, it so pretty — pretty color, like it, nice nice, everything match, backpack, jacket, you gloves, too.” I started laughing and thanked her and then she locked arms with me as we walked along. I loved how friendly she was. The locked arm thing only lasted a few minutes and then we were walking together at a good speed. She was from Taiwan and traveling with 2 other people. The guy in front of us was one of them and she said he set the pace and she had to keep up with him. Her English was not too bad and we had a good time talking for the next 2 miles. Then the other guy she was with called to her and she told me to go on ahead.
For the next 5 miles there were a lot of hills and ups and downs as the path traversed through some wooded areas but mostly ran alongside a secondary road. I was happy to be walking alone again and decided I wanted to listen to music. The first song I heard was by the Gypsie Kings called “Caminando por la Calle,” (walking along the highway) and I couldn’t believe how appropriate it was. Then I passed 3 women trekking together and they commented on my backpack. They loved the decals and said, “Oh I want to put decals on my backpack, too.” They were from California — Mission Viejo and San Diego. I passed them up and kept walking and the next song that came on was “California Dreamin.”
I was finally getting close to the big town of Sahagun and Dick had texted me that we should meet there for coffee. I could see Sahagun up ahead on my left but the path was taking me way out of the way to the right. I ended up in a little area with some Camino statues, and a bridge that went over a little stream.
The path then went back the other way toward Sahagun and I was a little miffed that it took me so far out of the way when I could have continued along the highway and been there already. I finally veered off the path to enter Sahagun through some back streets. Dick texted me to meet him at a really tall building that I should have been able to see, but couldn’t. I was really tired and ready for a break so texted him that I was at the backside of a hotel and that he HAD to come and get me. Two minutes later, there he was. I hopped in the car with my face pressed up against the windshield because I hadn’t taken off my backpack and 4 blocks later we arrived in the middle of town and at a cute little bar. We sat outside at a table and ordered cafe con leche and an almond croissant (which was the best croissant I had ever eaten!).
I burst out laughing when I saw these signs on the bathroom doors. While we were sitting outside luxuriating in the sunshine along came the California women and the people from Taiwan. Then, sitting at the table next to us were Matilda and Leslie who I had met and have photos of in yesterday’s blog. Matilda was leaving to go back to Italy to work and they said long tearful goodbyes to each other. They had just met a week ago on the Camino.
During the break we discussed which town I would walk to today — the well travelled path to El Burgo Ranero, which ran next to the road and was a lot longer, or take the shorter, rustic path to Hermanillos, which ran through dense bush. I told Dick I wanted the rustic path.
After that nice rest break I gathered up my things and was ready to leave when I discovered the Camino path was right beside us. There were some pretty sights walking through Sahagun.
I was a couple miles out of town when Dick texted me that he had driven to Hermanillos and there were no private rooms available anywhere in that little village. So the decision was made — I would walk the longer route to El Burgo RANERO. I wanted to make sure I was on the right path so I was standing, looking at some map signs when Leslie, from Britain, showed up. There were two other guys there from Britain and we all finally decided we were on the right path.
Leslie and I took off and found we both liked to walk fast and we talked non-stop and laughed for the next 6 miles. She was just as much fun as Debbie. Actually, Leslie walked a little faster than I would have liked, and why not? She was 13 years younger than I. At one point I asked her if her legs hurt after she walked and she had to think about it and finally said, “Well, not really.” Oh boy, I was in bad shape!
Dick texted me off and on while we were walking and said he would meet me at the next little village. By then we had walked 15 miles and I was really tired — and I mean “really” tired. As we entered the village we met Dick, who was sitting outside at a little bar. The first thing he said to us was that he could hear us laughing and talking when we were still 2 blocks away! After using “the facilities” we sat down with Dick. Leslie had tea and treated Dick to a beer while I chugged down a pint — of water, that is. The two British guys showed up and tried to get reservations in this little place but everything was fully booked. So, they were going to have to walk on to El Burgo Ranero, too.
The break was nice and I thought I could do another 5 miles and it would be a piece of cake. So, Leslie and I took off. Well, after the first mile I was really tired. After the second mile I wasn’t liking the walk. After the third mile Leslie and I were no longer talking. After the 4th mile I wanted to sit down and give up. But somehow we sped up and were walking faster than before because we just wanted to get there.
As we entered town we parted ways because we were both staying at different places. Leslie knew her Albergue was straight ahead but I didn’t know where Dick and I were staying. Just then Dick texted that he could see me on “Map My Walk and told me to turn right at the next street. I did that. Then he texted, go left at the fork in the road, turn right again, then turn left again, and then, OK now go right. But there was a lag time and the app didn’t “really” show where I was. He had me going around in circles when actually I was just 1 block away from him. OMG, I was sooooo glad to finally see him. By then I had walked 20 miles!
When we entered our room on the second floor I stripped out of all my clothes and collapsed on the bed. I didn’t want to move again — ever!
Well that only lasted 15 minutes. I hadn’t eaten all day so I had to get up off that bed and hobble over to my backpack and get dressed, My thigh and hip muscles were miserably sore. But we made it downstairs and to a nice table outside in the sun. We each ordered a bowl of soup and a glass of wine. Well, they brought the soup and put a full bottle of wine on the table. Really? We could have as much wine out of that bottle as we wanted? OK, no problem.
This is Sopa Castellano. It is basically called Bread Soup and has an egg in the center. It looks good but tasted like bread and water with an egg in the center.
Just as we were finishing our soup, who comes walking up but Leslie and the two British guys. I don’t know how they ended up at the same place we were because they were all staying at a different Albergue in another part of town. Anyway, they sat down with us, ordered wine and beer and we all ended up sitting out there in the sun for the next 3 hours. We were also joined by a Trekker named Matt and he seemed to know everybody on the Camino.
We all met that night for dinner at our hostel and you could tell it had been a hard day for everyone. No one even protested when they put one bottle of wine on the table for all 5 of us to share!
This had been the longest day ever and I vowed never to do it again.