Day 16: Carrion de las Condes to Terradillos de Templarios (town of the Knight’s Templar and the halfway mark passed)
As the red and yellow Spanish flag whips about against a background of mud and red brick houses I hear the strumming guitarist break out into quiet lyrics. I’m sitting on a sunny terrace overlooking a Templar town, below a garden full of my fellow peregrinos who lie snoozing and chatting. It’s a quiet beautiful moment on this sunny day in Northern Spain. For those of us who started in St. Jean Pied de Port in France we have now passed the halfway mark. For me this makes this little moment a poignant one as I only have two weeks left of these types of unexpected pleasures.
This morning saw me strap feet like an Olympic walker and stride out of the lively, lovely town Carrion de las Condes, last resting place of my boots. The boots that made it to the top of Mt. Sinai will not make it to Santiago de Compostela, there will be no meeting of old and new testament for my boots, no symmetry but they’ve done their job getting me the first 400km. “Farewell old boots”, I thought as I tightened my new ones.
I felt good this morning, my pack barely noticeable and I strode out into the breaking dawn. I walked out past the impressive Benedictine monastery on the outskirts of town and felt ready for the day. Just out of town I ran into my Lithuanian friend which was a good surprise. I saw many of my hive today and it felt good to be back amongst friends. The last few days I’d seen only a few people I knew as I travelled ahead of the hive.
This morning’s walk was reputed to be one of the tougher Camino legs and comprised 19km of straight road, monotonous scenery, no towns and a foot achingly akward rocky road, nonetheless this did not spoil my mood. I was feeling good and enjoying the walk. Along the way some enterprising ex-peregrinos had set up a place with chairs, food and drink. This welcome infusion of cafe con leche set me up for the last 9km of rocky road. Then we’d arrived at Caldizilla de la Cueza where we stopped for another coffee and I stopped to check the damage to my feet. Not too bad so I restrapped and we moved on.
We walked for awhile with a young Korean girl and chatted for awhile before pulling away. It was a glorious day, sun shining bright, few clouds and a cool breeze. I was in my element, thoroughly enjoying just walking and being with my thoughts. Coming into our destination this little town, created by the Templar Knights, of a few houses of red bricks, mud walls and red tiled roofs we caught up with an Italian friend and the three of us walked towards town. I strode ahead a little. A beautiful, challenging 27km walk was coming to an end. Music on I looked around and saw bushes of bright yellow flowers to my right, to my left fields of sunflowers, ahead I saw rolling hills all shades of tan and above me a blue sky in which danced hundreds of pieces of pollen. A massive smile broke across my face from the pure pleasure of the moment and I drank deeply from the scene around me.
Then we were in this little mud walled town of the Templars. In the centre of town a beautiful peregrino oasis welcomed us and after our post walk shower and clothes washing we sat around in the garden chatting and drinking beers. The Camino is all about simple pleasures. The simple things, that at home we barely think about prove to be a deep well of satisfaction after a day’s walking.
— Posted from my phone