Day 24, Sahagún to El Burgo Ranero

Well the physio was fantastic value and effective, but a very painful experience!! I had 30 minutes of very painful manipulation and massage, then 15 minutes with electromagnetic pulses and then 15 minutes of ice. There was moaning from both sides of me and as my physio said, with a grin, this is the pain room! Many of the towns along the route rely on pilgrim spending and therefore there are physio’s, osteo’s, masseuse’s all available and you can pretty much just walk in and get an appointment and since the are so used to pilgrims they seem to know exactly they impact of walking day in and day out on the body, and how to get everything moving again.

Just as I was heading back from Physio, Keri dropped me a note to let me know what bar she was in, so I stopped by on my way. After a bit of coordination everyone turned up and then we headed back to the Albergue where, Dawn, George and I are staying. Dinner here starts at 7pm, in other places it was 8.30pm. Our Albergue is family owned and just great fun. We had a lovely 3 course meal as usual with wine for €12. Dawn was not quite so impressed as the vegetable stew starter had meat in!! I found some pork in mine but hoped it was a one off and kept quiet until Dawn found some in hers. She received the classic Spanish response, well it is only a little meat for flavour, with that brilliant shrug, which says, served you right, what is vegetarian anyway!!!

Today, learning from yesterday I set off after a leisurely breakfast at around 8.20am, a lovely time to set off, the sun was up, none of this needing a torch to work out where I was going. 

I headed out with George for the first km or so, warming up my knee and then set off at my pace. Today was another flat day of just fields with some sections along the road. These last few days have really not been very exciting walking but they have been short and flat. The wind today was really strong, typical of this area, so everyone was walking with earphones or hoods to protect their ears.

I kept going for the first 11km before there was anywhere to stop for a coffee but then I spotted Kari who as usual had set off at the crack of dawn. She had finished her coffee but stayed with me whilst I had mine since she was enjoying the break.

My knee is feeling so much better after the physio yesterday afternoon. My thigh is physically bruised, George could not believe I paid to be made black and blue, but my knee is way happier which is great. Dawn had chosen to rest her knees again since we had two days in the same place so she was not walking today.

My instructions for collection today was at 5pm which given that I had arrived at 12.30 was clearly way too late. However, Roberto the Spanish guy from Valencia arrived, he speaks Spanish and a little French but since he often stays in the same places as us we all chat away although none of us really understand. He was checking that the cafe was the meeting point and happily I realised he was also getting a cab back although not to exactly the same place as me. His instructions said 4pm. Conveniently though since he is Spanish he chatted to the cafe owner and got her to make a call to have us collected at 2.30pm which was great.

Right on 2.30pm a taxi pulled up which was very impressive, both my name and Roberto’s appeared to be on the list so we both hopped in and I was dropped back at the Albergue to my relief with the comment that he would collect me the next morning at 8am. As I arrived Dawn and the Albergue owner looked delighted to see me. I think Dawn was concerned that when she cancelled her transportation she may have cancelled mine too, so she was very relieved to see me turn up. 

The town we are in is officially the half way point to Santiago and there is a Peregrina Museum which issues certificates to mark the half way point. I had not had time yesterday to get this so Dawn and I headed off to get these today.

The museum is part of an old convent, it was the other side of town and the 15 minute journey took Dawn about 40 minutes to walk as she is still struggling but we walked slowly there and back and got our certificates. It was very interesting, the legend about this area gives rise to the saying, 

‘the Pilgrim never walks alone’ 

The legend is that an old pilgrim whose strength had failed was often tempted to stop and spend the night in the open despite the dangers of the time. However on the hardest days when he was most weary, a smiling girl would appear and encourage him to follow her, sharing stories and good humour. In reaching town she would disappear. On reaching Sahagún he went to mass and realised that the girl who had accompanied him each day was identical to the statue of the virgin at the church. So he gave thanks for not having to walk the road alone.

My half way certificate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *