Day 25: Carrión los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza

First here is something for your imagination. I am staying at a little hostel run by a couple of very kind, sweet, people; the walls show their own framed Compostelas. Their pilgrim passports are also framed, but the stamps are fading a little now. They have two lively children and, as their parents are working all the time administering to we Pilgrims, they are blatantly bored with the Easter holidays and thus getting under their parent’s feet….

I have eaten a late lunch and, as I couldn’t get to grips with the menu, I asked my hostess if she would chose for me. I’ve just eaten chickpea, vegetable and fish soup, followed by casseroled oxtail and the inevitable chips, accompanied by bread and liberal amounts of red wine, lovely. The wife cleans and waits on table, the husband works reception and cooks, I complemented him on the food, (well, I gave him the thumbs up sign), he replied with a hug, a kiss on the cheek and a “thank you, lovely lady”….

So here I am in my room and it is freezing, I’m wearing my fleece jacket and have each leg stuffed into a sleeve of my down jacket. I do hope that the heating engages soon. I must also remember where I’ve put my legs as to forget would certainly mean injury if I leave the confines of my bed in a hurry….

One the first day of my pilgrimage which does seem quite a long time ago when, in fact, it’s only just over three weeks, I felt as if I should be sporting a high-viz vest with “pilgrim in training, please pass” emblazoned on the back. Now I feel fully trained and can hardly bear to stop walking every day, in other words the Camino holds me in its spell. Today I caught up with Charlotte and we walked the morning together….

I left the monastery at just gone nine o’clock and said good bye to it’s wonderful facade….

From the town the Camino runs by the side of what we would call a “B” road, very soon I came across a very fancy sunglasses case, feeling that it must surely belong to the pilgrims in front of me I picked them up and quickened my pace, they were well ahead, almost dots in the distance. A little way on I found a bag of toiletries, then a small black bag, all these I collected and sped on. I could see in the distance that they had halted to adjust back-packs etc. This gave me the chance to catch up, talk about speed walking! They turned out to be a Spanish mother and her son and we had stayed in the same hotel a couple of nights ago. They had just realised that the son’s pack had been left unzipped. They were absolutely delighted to have their things back and thanked me profusely. I left them repacking and checking all the zips……

I came to a roundabout with this at its centre. I assume it’s a pilgrim bowing to the Holy family, although neither Mary or Joseph seem particularly pleased to see the pilgrim, maybe it was siesta time…..

The road today was long and straight and in the main flat, the countryside arable land with wheat just poking through. But as Charlotte pointed out the sky made up for any boredom found in the landscape. The clouds were hurrying on their way and the sky changing minute by minute…..

Charlotte and I talked, about Bernard and her father who also died last year. It’s very cathartic to talk to someone that has suffered a death in the family, there is an instant bond, a knowing….. and with that, a comfort.

We were at Cazadilla de la Cuez in what seemed like no time. We stopped here and had coffee……

Then I went into the town (although it’s more of a village) whilst Charlotte carried on….. I explored a while looking for my hotel which I found with ease….

I couldn’t resist a picture of this little house….. talk about down sizing…

It has rained this afternoon but I was already at my stopping place, so I’ve had a straight ‘dry’ five days.

My cold (sniffles, and runny, itchy, eyes) are still with me but only when I am out in the air, if it’s not ‘cured’ by León I shall begin to think that it is hay fever, there is a lot of tree blossom about…..

And so to the end of another day, my pack is certainly lighter as I use up essentials day by day, my soul is also lighter, but that lightness is interspaced with some black, sad, moments. It is as it is, I think, and know that if Bernard had not have died I would not be here. I would not have met the people I have met, I would not have heard their stories, nor they mine. I could not have shared my strength nor my sorrow…. it is as it is……

Love Susan x

This entry was posted in Architecture, bereavement, children, death, Farming, friendship, rain, strangers, The Camino de Compostela, the way of St James, walking, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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