Day 22, Carrión de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza

So last night, we had an amazing dinner. It was the first time we have not had a Pilgrim menu and the food was lovely, there was so much choice. The location was so special and the food in the restaurant is known to be great.   Sian and George walked up to the monastery to join us, Dawn, Andy, myself and Vivian and John were all staying there.

Before dinner I had gone for a short stroll round the town, it is fascinating how in a weekend particularly Saturday afternoon and Sunday the towns are so quiet, all the shops and shut and it feels very odd. I don’t know what the Spanish do, but they must all be home.

This morning I had a very lazy morning. I did not start walking until just before 9am, I think that is the latest ever for me. However today was only 18km which is the shortest day we have done, and since the hotel was so lovely I decided to relax over breakfast.

My bedroom in the monastery!

Andy left early as he is walking on and had a long day. I handed out lambs wool at breakfast to John whose feet are a total mess, I don’t know how he is still walking. Hopefully it makes a difference. Dawn is still struggling too and is taking a taxi again today, she is hoping to get a physio apt on Monday. Fingers crossed they can sort her knees out, she can hardly walk.

Last view of the monastery entrance

After my leisurely breakfast I headed off and about 15 minutes later caught up with George. He had already been walking for an extra 20 mins having stayed the other end of the town. We had a quick chat and I headed on pretty sure we would meet later.

Today’s walking was very very simple pretty much straight the whole way and flat fields. Bathroom stops were very tricky there was practically no shelter at all, and not a single cafe with a toilet, fields only. I have this down to a fine art now, I don’t take my pack off, I use my sticks to check for snakes (Sian says that is what the sticks are for) and then I am done in about 20 seconds flat!! There are now almost daily snake sightings so I am in high alert! Fortunately I haven’t see any more, but everyone is talking about them or sharing pictures, why they hang about to get a photo I have no idea.

About 9km into my walk I caught up with John and Vivian, so I walked with them for a short while. I still don’t know how John keeps walking, but he never complains. Whilst he is retired he runs an online training course for Canadian teachers. He has written a number of courses which he keeps up to date and he spends a couple of hours online each day (usually very early in the morning) advising and providing additional online support to adults doing the courses. It means as he says, he can be anywhere in the world and still work, his students have no idea where he is, and it pays for all his and Vivian’s travelling. Sian also works remotely providing coaching via skype, so again she can work wherever she is. It is a very appealing concept.

I headed on to find the only coffee break for today, it was a shed at the side of the field, no facilities at all, but there was a coffee, and in fairness hot dogs on a bbq, although I didn’t see anyone have one. I found seats for when John and Vivian arrived, George arrived after about 20 minutes. I can’t believe he is 72, he is very fit. He is walking the camino since his agent told him he needed to lose weight for his next acting role! I am not convinced that the camino is really very successful for losing weight, but I met this thought to myself. George is taking it very seriously and is not drinking between Burgos and León, he has been very good. Although he is saying he is going to make up for it once he gets to León, and certainly prior to Burgos he could down a few large beers after the walk.

I headed on into our next spot. As I approached the hostel it was only 12.30pm, Dawn had just arrived by taxi! Kari arrived 5 mins later so we got a space in the sun and ordered the beers, John, Vivian and George arrived about 50 minutes later, and we then arranged lunch. I think we are a fairly loud group which means everyone else starts to chat too. I met a couple from New Zealand who had helped the 3 Canadian’s I had dinner with in Akerreta. Terri had told me over dinner how she had slipped into a river and ended up like a turtle unable to get up and that a Canadian couple had hauled her out! It is so funny how stories of people you have never met are told and then you meet the people you have heard about. 

They were walking on and were very envious when we said that we were all staying at the hostel! Jim had been impressed that we looked so settled with our beers so early in the day, however it was the end of our walking day!!

View from my bedroom tonight

This hostel and an Albergue are pretty much the only things in town, we are really just alongside a field! It should be another quiet night. The hostel owner owns both the hostel and the Albergue and he has walked the camino many times.

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