Tuesday, May 22nd … 22 kms … 14 miles … Cloudy
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve; the fear of failure.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Due to it being a short day, we didn’t leave the hostel until around seven. Leaving a little later helps you miss the rush of pilgrims for the bathrooms. There are some pilgrims who like to leave really early. So around five, you start hearing phone alarms. Then you hear a rustle of bags, clothes, small whispers. Everyone is trying to be quiet to respect the other pilgrims, but you still hear them. I usually just covered my head and waited it out. Once the first crowd leaves, it would be our turn. Most times it was around six. At most hostels, it is lights out from 10pm to 6am. So, at six, the next round of pilgrim’s will awake, and this group gets to turn lights on instead of using their phone lights or a head lamp.
Last night was a little interesting. We were in a small room with one window. We had one pilgrim who was hot and we had one pilgrim who was cold. So, all night, one would open the window and then a few minutes later one would shut the window. It was almost a dance. But every time one would touch the window, it would rouse the rest of the room. Finally, around one or two, the dance stopped. I think with the window shut. I wasn’t sure because I was perfectly comfortable.
After our light breakfast in the kitchen, we stepped out into the early morning. There was a chill in the air and it felt amazing. The mornings have been chilly but warming up into a really nice day. So far, we have had rain almost every day. Maybe not a down pour, but we have had to stop and cover our bags. Today, was supposed to be just cloudy. Sounds like a great day!
Leaving Santo Domingo de Calzada
As we were leaving the Hostel, Sean from New Zealand and Nithyaa from the USA were leaving as well. We all ended up walking together into Granon. Our plan was to walk to Granon and stop there for our mid-morning breakfast. It was 7kms out. Leaving at seven, we hoped to get there by nine.
As we were leaving Santo Domingo we crossed the River Oja. The bridge we would be taking over the river was originally built by St. Dominic. The river was shallow but beautiful.
Most of our day we will be following the highway N-120… leaving La Rioja region and entering the Castilla y Leon region. It was a great morning! We walked and talked and laughed all the way to Granon. Spirits were high today!
When we arrived into Granon, our group had gotten a little separated during the walk and it took us awhile to find each other. But eventually we came together at a great little café called My Way!
This café had a really cool stamp but not only that. I would have to say and I am not lying, they made the best Café con Leche. And had the best Tortilla and pastry on the Camino! It was amazing. All of us couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. A nice treat!
We left Granon, just a few kms, and entered into Castilla y Leon. We continued through rolling farmland, beautiful and green. We are entering the Meseta, a long and flat walk. But it is so pretty to see the trail just wind its way through the landscape. But this is where it becomes mental, because you can see where you are going and you can see that it is far, far away. And it takes forever to get there.
We would walk along the highway and then turn into the fields; this pretty much was the whole day. Thankful for the clouds, it was perfect.
As we were walking, we came across huge bales of hay. Of course, we had to stop and take a picture.
Today was extra nice because every few kilometers there was a small village for water, food, restroom and places to rest.
We made it into town around 2:30 pm. Amazing! When we found a hostel, we were so surprised because it had a swimming pool! Yes, a swimming pool! It also had a beautiful grassy area to sit and hang out.
Hostel: Albergue of Pilgrims Cuatro Cantones, 65 beds, 8-12 Euros
So, once we were checked in, you guessed it. Shower, laundry and head out to town. We decided to put all of our clothes together and wash our clothes in the washer, then just hang on the line to dry. Hand washing just doesn’t do it sometimes. This was one of the nice things about being with a group. We put everything together and each of us gave 1 euro. Very well worth it!
We went into town to get a little snack and go to the grocery store. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia said she wanted to cook dinner. After we returned to the hostel, Cale and I went back out. I wanted to see the church and we needed to find an ATM.
When we returned everyone was outside in the grassy area. Some tried to go to the pool but it was covered and when you entered it was so hot, you could barely breathe. No swimming for me. I opted to enjoy the sunshine and just relax.
Next door to the hostel was a little farm of animals…Bunnies, roosters and a peacock. New friends.
We played cards and did our laundry and of course had some refreshing drinks.
We also learned at the Church hostel in Logrono that Minh gives really good massages. Poor Minh, we were always asking for a quick back massage. Minh was still dealing with blisters, Cale became his nurse now that Anna was gone, every night he doctored him with Natalie’s help. I believe this back massage was payment for the blister help.
Can you tell Cale’s muscles are tight and need the massage?
We ate a little later than usual due to the kitchen being small and everything was being used. Marcia had to get in there and be ready as soon as something was free to use. We finally got the pot and she was able to make us a pasta dish, salad and bread. It was really nice.
We ate our dinner, played some more cards and hit the sack.
Tomorrow we plan to walk a long day, so the following day we can arrive into Burgos early.
Now off to bed for this pilgrim!
Tuesday, May 22nd… 22 kms … 14 miles, cloudy
Today was a short day. Our little group walks at a good pace. It seems we fit well.
I had some great prayer time, great friendship time and just a great day. Seeing the beauty in everyone we meet. The beautiful community among the pilgrims is amazing. Making sure I find my quiet time along the way, always needing that. It gives me time to listen.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa