Camino de Santiago: Day 17 (Christina)


From San Nicolas del Real Camino to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (21 km)

Today I take the road less travelled. Chris and I get up late, around 7:00.  I am feeling so much better after a good night´s sleep although my stomach still feels a little fragile, but I´m ready to keep going.  I´m taking my time though, having a coffee and croissant while I check my email before I start walking.  While eating breakfast I hear Chris outside talking to Noel and Ronnie who have just walked up (they have already been walking for 2 hours).  This is the Irish couple who Chris had a few too many with some time ago.  I have not seen them since Granon.

Next comes Laila who I haven´t seen since Logrono.  She tells me there is a junction coming up where you must choose to go right or left.  The left road is the most well travelled and it goes along the road way for about 31 km.  The right is far less travelled and passes through remote countryside.  Both roads meet up again in Reliegos. She is planning to take the less travelled road and hopes to see me later.

Even though my feet are hurting, I walk strong this morning.  It seems the pain is not as sharp if I walk faster.  Every time I start walking, I am wincing in pain and stepping gingerly on my feet until I get used to the pain and get into my stride.  Then it just feels like a dull pain that is part of my walk.

At the first town, I catch up to Ronnie and Noel who are enjoying a rest and a cup of coffee.  Chris is with them but I don´t see him as he has gone into a shop while I have gone into the cafe.  He has left when I come out, not even a hello.  I think he is upset about leaving his favourite water bottle behind.  Maybe he thought I would see it and bring it for him, but I didn´t notice it back at the Albergue.  I have bought two Snickers bars in the cafe – one for him – now I have two for myself.

There are many works of art that pay homage to the pilgrim. 

I haven’t seen “Crazy” Yoshida for a few days and was surprised and happy
to see him here, enjoying his one cigarette for the day :)  

I purchase some groceries and more bandaids at the Pharmacy.  I can´t believe how many bandaids and tape I am going through.  I am hoping to get to Reliegos today but I know that will be pushing it especially since I am still not feeling 100 percent.

When I reach the junction point, I am not sure which way to go.  Everybody is going left, not a soul is going right.  Finally, I choose the road less travelled and veer to the right.  It is a good decision because it is a lovely old Roman road that passes through remote, pretty countryside.  It is very isolated and there is not a soul in sight ahead or behind.  Sometimes I wonder if I am on the right road, but then a sign will appear and I can relax again.

Another pebble road to torture my feet.

It is always reassuring to see a sign on
these remote, isolated stretches, even when it is in the ditch. 

As I get close to the next town, I meet Emily from Colorado. Ahead of her is Laila although I don´t know this until later.  I reach the next town at around 1:00.  I have only walked 20 km so far and feel I could do another 10 but I learn at the Albergue that the next town is 18 km away.  There is no way I can do that this afternoon.  I already have two new blisters from today´s walk – I am sure it is the pebble paths I am walking on that twists and turns my feet in every direction. So I decide to check into the Albergue and call it a day.

Another empty town.  Where is everybody?

A real shell embedded in the sidewalk to point the way.

Guess who is in front of me checking in? Yup, Laila.  We head out to the local restaurant along with Emily and enjoy a relaxing afternoon having a couple of beers on the patio sharing Camino stories.  I have them in tears when I tell them about Nella in Granon, her Camino story and her birthday party in the Church.  It feels good to relax and rest, I think my body and especially my feet need it.

This notice caught my eye in the albergue – I even took a photo
so that I had the schedule on hand….just in case. 

Next we stock up on provisions in the only shop in town.  This is the tiniest shop I have been in, run by a very tiny man.  He is very sweet and helpful, showing us items he thinks we might like.  I settle on some fruit and yogurt, cheese and some olives, which will be plenty to keep me going tomorrow.

I have another nap and then we all go out for dinner together, along with a German girl who has checked into the Albergue.  We are tired and conversation is rather subdued over dinner.  We are  in bed and asleep before 10:00.

The German girl is sitting next to me (don’t remember her name),
Laila is across from her, and Emily is across from me. 

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2 Responses
  1. Marc says:

    Hi Christina!

    I’m so happy for you that you have found your WAY! I’m a little behind on reading your posts as I’ve been away for a few days, but I am trully happy for you :-)

    Isn’t it just like fate though that when you reach a life changing situation / decision, that you next come to a crossroad? I mean you are literally there and have symbolically chosen your path!

    Choices bring changes, and I’m sure that many await you down the Camino, not just in Spain but in life as well. My thoughts and encouragements go with you and Chris down this path, as many others (family and friends) as well!

    Buon Camino
    Marc

  2. Angus says:

    I’m loving all the blogs but I was thinking last night that I really miss not having the pics to go along with these great stories so we can see the Camino and especially all these wonderful people you and Chris are meeting along the way.

    Of course once you’re in England and have a chance to sort and load all the pics I’ll be eating my words as I’m sure it will take hours and hours to look at them all knowing how Chris is with a camera :)