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Camino de Santiago, Day 22: Rabe de las Calzadas to Castrojeriz, Spain

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

I hate myself for taking so many pictures today because each one I have to edit and label and upload and blah blah blah.  But I couldn’t help it.  The scenery was so stunning in every direction.

I awoke with a nauseated feeling because I was such a rose wine lush the night before.  That’s what I get.  Not only that, but all night my big toe was throbbing from a new ingrown toenail.  And then there is the joy of waking up in a room with ten others and trying to make your way to the bathroom before anyone sees the mess that you call yourself  through the collective garlic-breathy condensation that develops when you put ten sleeping, mouth-breathing, sweaty people in a room the size of a closet.  Whew.  That was a long sentence.  God help me when I have to return to the room for anything after getting a whif of sweet fresh air.  Because when I return, I sometimes dry wretch from the thought and the smell of those pilgrim molecules entering my nostrils.  Good times.

I climb down the stairs to leave like a toddler, placing both feet on each step before continuing.  I’m not sure what it would feel like to have every bone in my feet broken but probably something like this.  My feet are in bad shape inside and out.  So many bandages, that there is no place to put the Vaseline that everyone keeps telling me to put on.  A German man observes my walking and asks me if I have blisters.  “Yes”.  “Have you gone to the hospital?”, he asks.  Now perhaps I’m just a product of the American non-health care system which would happily hand me a $5000 bill if I went to the hospital for blisters, or perhaps I’m not a pansy.  I can’t tell you how many Europeans I’ve talked to that have gone or are going to go to the hospital for blisters.  Different world I guess.

But, I digress.  The scenery has changed to a more arid, dry looking landscape.  The dirt is mostly cream colored and sandy.  Now, instead of avoiding snails and slugs, I avoid ants and centipedes.  There are huge expanses of grass and wheat.  Tiny blue butterflies flit around wildflowers of all kinds including the poppies that had all but disappeared many miles ago.  Now, the tiny villages are in valleys, not on hills, and it is a surprise and a relief when you come upon them suddenly, as opposed to seeing them for miles and seemingly getting no closer.

I am walking slow.  Jamie passes me two hours into the walk.

The sun is strong and feels awesome mixed with the cold breezes that are ever flowing.

Thistle

Thistle

My pants are sagging now like a gangsta rapper.  Some lucky pilgrims probably get a glimpse of my white sweaty cotton granny panties.  I have to pull them up all day long.  Not a good look for a middle-aged woman.

When I arrive in Castrojeriz, Jamie is there in the plaza with a beer.  I try to get a bed in the Municipal Hostel, but it’s full, so I climb down many stairs (another city on a hill) and find a Donativo which is a hostel for pilgrims run by donations only.  I am the first guest there.  Score!  No top bunk for me tonight!  I drop my stuff and head back up the stairs to join Jamie and his new friends, a Bible teacher from Las Vegas, a young man from England and his new young German girlfriend whom he met on the Camino.

We spent the afternoon together in the sun, enjoying beers while the town pervert, a man of at least 80, was rumored to be suddenly grabbing women’s breasts and bottoms.  Once I got word of his actions, I warned every woman he got close to before he good go in for the kill.  I saved an Italian woman from a sure strike.  I really ruined his game.  Not quite sure why he’s roaming the streets.  But he is.

It was a good day with very beautiful scenery.  My feet carried on and for that I am thankful.

Today I walked 27.7 kilometers (17.2 miles)

Enough writing.  The pictures explain the day.

Photos of the Day:

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your blog, it’s given me a lot of insight into what I may expect when I start my Camino from SJPDP in May. I’m going at it alone and feeling rather nervous and excited at the same time. From your experience of meeting other pilgrims, do you think I will be safe on my own? Many thanks for your reply.

    • Fleur,
      Thanks for reading and I’m glad it’s been a help.
      Yes, I think the Camino is a very safe place to go alone. You will only be alone if you want to be. People develop bonds very quickly on the trail. I expect you are going to have an incredible time. Bravo to you for taking a bold step. Buen Camino!

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