Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Day 17: Terradillos de Templarios to Berciano Real Camino

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“Why are you walking the Camino?” is a common question among us.. The answers vary and involve everything from paying past dues to god, to desires to achieve balance in life, some walk after resigning from jobs and before trying new lives on, some walk for loved ones lost, some walk before deciding on whether to get married or not, some, like me, walk for the challenge both mental and physical. The best answer I’ve heard yet and one which resonates a bit with me is the answer given by the Frenchman who was doing his second Camino. He replied to the Camino question with, “I’m doing the Camino to find out why I did it the first time”.

After a poor nights sleep caused by both knees aching and the fact that the poor Italian guy in the dorm next door was throwing up I slept in a little and wasn’t on the road until 6:30. Despite little sleep I felt good and in no time at all my body went into autopilot. It just walked without requiring thought or complaint and my mind took the time to soar around like the early morning swallows swooping through the belfry.

The first hour if the walk was a pleasant level stretch to the sleepy farming village of San Nicolas de Real Camino where a morning cafe con leche and croissant greeted the morning peregrino. After an early morning chat with others in my hive I headed off. Another pleasant walk followed through fields of rolled up hay and pathways garlanded with flowers of purple/blue.

The town of Sahagun appeared in the distance and a winding path soon found us in this interesting looking town. Another stop in a great little cafe with delicious fresh pastries was all the more pleasurable because many familiar faces had stopped in the same place. I walked out of Sahagun, leaving my morning companions, my Lithuanian and Italian friends, to explore the city. I walked out past the gates of the city, across the beautiful stone bridge over the picturesque river and out through a peregrino boulevarde of poplars.

I had music on and was completely in the mood for walking. All aches and pains tucked away as I just enjoyed the sky, the flying clouds, fields of sheet, rolling landscape and occasional outcrops of trees. I felt like I could walk for days. I soon met the Korean girl I’d chatted to the day before and we had a nice walk into town sharing stories along the way. Before I knew it the day’s walk was over and we’d arrived in the simple farming town of Bercianos Real Camino. I could easily have walked on, we’d only done 24km, but I’m running to schedule and rushing it now just means my Camino will be over sooner. I have no need or desire for that.

The Albergue in Berciano was a pleasant surprise. It’s a rustic old building with pillars of roughly hewn wood and walls made of mud and straw. I feel like I’m sleeping in a barn and I like the change. Tonight we all dine together as the Hospitaleros (volunteers who run the Albergues) have promised to cook us Paella. We’re all looking forward to this communal home cooked meal 🙂

The afternoon saw me exploring this little place. The buildings here are an intriguing mismash of styles. Mostly mud, straw and stones packed between roughly hewn logs the houses were rough and asymmetrical as if made by giant kids playing in a mudpit. Here and there more modern brick buildings dotted the town while in between the two styles saw patchwork houses comprising brick, mud, straw, wood and concrete. A poor farming town and the building we were staying in looked like it’s major barn made from the same mud, straw and wood.

Late evening saw all the peregrinos in town sit down to two giant pans of paella. Not only delicious but the honey atmosphere and the general camraderie made for a great meal.

— Posted from my phone


Written by backpackingteacher

July 18, 2009 at 12:36 am

One Response

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  1. The sky photo is lovely!!! And the nice relaxing communal meal, what a bonus at the end of the day!!


    July 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

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