MY CAMINO – More of the Meseta

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[My apologies for being absent so long.  I’m eager to finish the posts about the Camino journey, but after being away for six weeks life caught up with me.  I’m back to blog about the second half of my walk across the north of Spain.  When we left off, I had just finished a very long walk on a changeable weather day that was also Easter Sunday.]

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After a Sunday much like the first Easter weekend itself (a dark gloomy morning that cleared and finished with magnificent sunlight), the wonderful weather continued as the optimism of new birth invigorated the soul .  I left Fromista in the dark and enjoyed one of my favorite sunrises.  As I’m bound to do, after 3 kilometers I took the road less traveled as I followed a small “river”  (Rio Ucieza) west rather than follow the main road to Carrion de los Condes – the site of my first planned “nero”.  The path was uncharacteristically overgrown and the morning dew got my feet wet for the first time on the trip.  I loved the solitude though.  I ran into a local Spaniard and his dog collecting snails for his next Sunday paella.  Before long a veered away from the river and the more rural path into a small town and then on a hard dirt path along the main road.  I reached carrion before noon.  if you hike the Appalachian Trail a “zero” day is a rest day ( a day of no hiking – zero miles) and a “nero” is almost a zero day.  I had planned to read, write, rest and resupply in Carrion.  I was the first to check into the Santa Maria albergue – part of the Santa Maria church complex.  The hostel is run by the nuns who sing folk songs with the pilgrims each evening.

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As I enjoyed the sunshine and relaxed in the church courtyard I ran into and greeted a remarkable number of fellow pilgrims I had seen previously along the way. I joined in a communal meal preparation and sat down with 15 pilgrims from all over the world, including Jacob from Poland (who I’d spend the evening with in Finisterre 2 weeks later).  The evening was spent in the bottom bunk in a room with 10 bunks, which was occupied by 20 year-old college students from Japan, a 65 year-old from Austria, George from Arizona, “Lynn” – a 55 year-old from British Columbia, a 30 year-old German woman with a very bad leg injury, and a young Korean woman (“Lee”) between jobs slept in the bunk above.

I rested up for two more long days in the meseta and then on to the great cathedral town of Leon.

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