The walk out of Carrion de los Condes was tough for everyone; the heat was stifling, zapping energy and making a kilometre seem so much more of a challenge than on other days.
The flat, fearless Meseta:
The walk between Carrion de los Condes and Leon takes the pilgrim through wild west pueblos; houses being constructed mainly from adobe (mud brick), and with the village church taking precedence on the village skyline:
In the early evening I decided to stop at the small village of Moratinos, where I camped out at the church, in anticipation of a night walk ahead:
A true night walk is when you only rest until the sun sets and then you walk into the night. I must admit that I felt tired after the day’s walk and I slept until 3pm, when I woke up to the sight of the full (or almost full) moon and immediately set off on the way and under the gaze of lunar majestic:
It was soon after I began my walk that my camera ran out of power, so I’m unable to bring you any further photos of my very early morning walk. The path shone white in the moonlight and the way was easy to follow. Additionally, some other pilgrims were also walking at night/early morning and there was a vague sense of camaraderie in the (surprisingly) warm breeze of the moon’s night.
At around 6am I reached the small town of Sahagun and was surprised to find lots of drunk Spanish youngsters crowding the street in the typical way which young and drunk people do. It turned out that they were in the middle of a 4 (or 5?) day fiesta and this explained the barriers which I had seen set up around the town and which were there for the bull running/fighting festivities.
The walk from Sahagun was very similar to the walk into the town; the countryside reflected the previous days walk and there were familiar Meseta villages spotted on the arid landscape:
Without a complicated system of irrigation ditches and streams, the Meseta would be a very different place:
One point worth noting is that soon after Burgos I spent my last Euro and for the past few days I have been traveling on zero. I played my guitar for money for about 15 minutes at one village cafe and received 3 Euro. I began by playing a lovely acoustic instrumental piece which I wrote about the Meseta and the money didn’t come. As soon as I sang Hey Jude though I got a response. Mental note: play a popular song and sing. One more important note is that every morning when I need hot water for my coffee, I ask at a house and I am always given hot water and with a warm, gracious smile. Not only this but it is common to be given a bite to eat too:
Yesterday afternoon I arrived to the small but wonderful village of Reliegos; home to perhaps the best bar on the Camino Frances (Post photo) and definitely one of the more interesting characters you will meet on the way:
He is named the Elvis of the Camino and although I can’t make the connection, he definitely adds a massive charisma shot to the walk. A recommended stop and when I return home and when I have more time I am going to add the short video which I took yesterday afternoon as “Elvis” poured drinks and played out his role as holy eternal bartender of the Camino de Santiago. Having arrived home, here it is now:
Yesterday, and for the first time on the Camino, I joined a small group of walkers: a wonderful German woman and two equally wonderful Polish pilgrims. This photo was taken shortly before we headed off:
I had originally met Ines at the Ermita in San Nicolas and it was great to walk and talk with this very interesting woman again.
In the evening we decided to camp out together for the night and by a river. I successfully started a fire; my ego was happy 🙂 They shared food with me and I played guitar. I gave Ines my sleeping bag for the night as hers was far too thin and I slept cold, but happy in my selfless act.
In the morning we woke to the ashes of the fire as a reminder of a lovely evening spent together:
We walked on and at around 12pm we entered the city of Leon; marking the end of the Meseta Camino stage and also the end of the Present phase. From now on I walk into the Future stage of my Camino; from Leon to Santiago.
The first thing I did when I arrived to Leon was visit the Benedictine monastery – which is also an albergue – located on Santa Maria Camino o Plaza del grano. I politely asked if I could take a shower and the response was favourable. I shaved and showered and changed my clothes. Next I will ask at the neighbouring monastery building for a bite to eat and then…
… I’m off to the main square to play guitar (busk).
I plan to make a bit of money today/tonight for my onward journey tomorrow.
Wish me luck! 🙂