Tuesday, May 29th 2018 … 27 km … 17 miles
Last night was good. It was only the five of us in the room, so it was quiet, warm, and comfy. We got snacks for today’s walk because the guidebook showed there could be a stretch of 17 km with little to no refreshments. There was a chance of a café, but it was a mobile café according to the book. So, we planned for no stops but hoped for the café.
Minh’s blisters were hurting him, so he decided to send his bag ahead and walk only with a little day pack. Carrying less weight will help his body overall but especially help his blisters. Our hostel didn’t have a bag pickup so we had to walk to the next hostel to arrange for this. We went ahead and reserved a room in Terradillos, so we knew where to send his bag.
As we woke and started to stir, we saw that it was raining. Not a little drizzle but a heavy downpour. Well, this might not be fun. After our morning routine, we covered ourselves and headed to drop off Minh’s bag.
As Minh was filling out the tag, I ran into the café attached to the hostel and grabbed me a tortilla and café con Leche. I felt like I needed something extra. We ran into Sean, Nithyaa and they had made two new friends, Todd and Shannon from the USA, in the café. Said a quick hi and goodbye and headed back into the rain.
Seventy percent of today’s walk will be on gravel paths. Most of these gravel paths overlay the old paved Roman road Via Aquitania which led you to Astorga. Hopefully, they won’t be too muddy with all this rain.
Usually, the Meseta is dry and hot, but for us, it has been rainy and cool. I am not complaining, the heat gets to me and I would rather be cool. The bad part about the rain is you tend to walk with your head down, so the rain doesn’t hit you in the face. So sad to say, we didn’t take a lot of pictures and we probably missed some really cool things.
Just at the edge of town, we passed an old monastery called San Zoilo. It caught my attention and I was able to take a quick picture. I read that it is now a hotel.
We crossed a river and at a T-junction headed onto the old roman road. Nothing but the long road ahead of us now. Just about 11 km left before the first town. Still high hopes for the cafe. The rain was still falling and we were having to weave to miss the puddles.
One benefit of rain, you make good time. Your pace is faster and there is not as much talking.
I checked the guidebook to see where the mobile café should be, we still weren’t there but our hopes were high.
The heavy rain just kept coming down but we started to see a break in the clouds. Maybe it will be over soon.
Step by step we just kept going.
It was long and flat so we kept looking up to see if we saw umbrellas or chairs, which would be a beautiful sign. It means we have arrived at the café.
The rain was letting up a little and we all were feeling good. We were able to take our hoods off, we still were getting a little wet but at least we didn’t have the hoods dripping on us.
Then, there it was!
Except now it wasn’t mobile, it looked like they had made it permanent. Tables with metal roofs, bathroom, and food! All was well.
We were able to take our poncho and rain jackets off and sit and relax. We put them on the bench and sat on them to relax.
In walked Sean, Nithyaa, Shannon, and Todd. We then moved to a bigger table and enjoyed each other’s company. All were glad the rain had given us a break to enjoy this stop.
As we started back on the trail, we still had a break in the rain. We all were walking together now. Enjoying new conversations and new friends.
It started to sprinkle again and we all covered up, except Cale. He realized he had left his poncho at the café. Too far to turn around, he said, “he would just hope for the best!”
We told him, you just provided someone with Camino Magic, your loss is someone else’s gain!
Here is Natalie and Luca on the Roman road after the rain had stopped.
Calzadilla de la Cueza
As we arrived into the town of Calzadilla de la Cueza it looked like the rain had stopped for the day. The sky was blue and it was beautiful. Cale made it without getting too wet. But now he needed a new poncho and it would be at least a couple of days until we would be in a town where he could find one. We kept telling him, we are in the Meseta. It is supposed to be dry here. Yet, that’s not what we had seen.
A quick pitstop! We found a cafe and they had a bench outside. Let’s sit down for a little bit. I quickly used the restroom and enjoyed my Snickers. I don’t even eat Snickers at home, it is amazing how good they are on the Camino!
As we left town, we had a choice, we could follow the highway or take a scenic route. We decided to stay along the road, we just wanted to get to our resting place.
Terradillos de los Templarios
As its name indicates, it was the jurisdictional territory of the Order of the Temple. Not that you could tell that now, but still interesting.
We arrived in town and the four others were looking for a bed. They stopped at one hostel and it was full. We told them we had reserved a bed because of Minh’s bag being transferred. Luca then offered to call ahead and see if they had any beds left. We kept walking in the right direction. Good news! They had four other beds and they were being held for them.
Hostel: Albergue Jacques de Molay, 49 beds, 8-10 Euros
As we were checking into the Albergue, we found out that Minh had left his actual passport in his bag! NO! And his bag hadn’t arrived yet! NO! The owners were amazing and they called the hostel where we left it and thank God it was still there. The service never picked it up. So, they had to send a car to get it and bring it to Minh. The bad part was they wouldn’t let Minh check-in until he had his actual passport.
I kept telling him it was going to be Okay; the luggage transport companies are amazing. I also figured out what happened, because this never happens. He needed to arrange with the company to have it picked up, he just filled out the label and left it with all the other bags. They didn’t know to pick it up. We were just thankful that he received it and his passport was inside. He was going to transfer his bag again tomorrow, but this time he knew what to do and not to leave his passport in his bag! All was well.
This hostel had a restaurant, no kitchen to cook our own dinner. No problem, the pilgrim’s menu is good with me! We still had plenty of snacks in our bag for tomorrow so no grocery store needed. Plus, tomorrow we would be walking through plenty of towns in the morning. So, plenty of options. Today was a day of relaxation, which we all needed. The sun was shining and it was warm, the hostel had a nice courtyard. We all were just hanging out and enjoying ourselves.
“Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you allow God to refresh your soul along this journey.”
Tuesday, May 29th, 27 km … 17 miles
We left the St. Clara Monastery and it was raining. Not a light rain but heavy rain. It was a miserable morning. So wet! We were not only wet but cold. It rained until noon and then we were blessed with a beautiful day!
God refresh my soul with this rain. That’s all I kept saying during my quiet time in the rain. We were expecting hot dry weather in the Meseta but all we have gotten is cool rainy weather. I am not complaining because heat is harder to walk in than the rain. At least for me.
We met up with Sean, Nithyaa, Todd, and Shannon. Nice afternoon sitting in the courtyard sharing and relaxing. It is so important to open up and share. We all shared our stories, shared our lives. Talks get deep on the Camino!
We doctored Minh’s blisters and had a great dinner, Sean joined us.
God is so good!
“Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.”— Rumi