Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer (2018) I walked 190km along the Camino de Santiago, from Burgos to Léon in Spain. This is the third leg of the Camino which I started in 2016 (if you’re interested, I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way that year), I’m completing a leg each summer until 2020. This is Day 21 (other posts linked at the end of this post).
Camino Frances Day 21: Carrión de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza (approx 17 km)
I was happy for a “shorter” day today (still reeling a little from the 25km day) and it even looked like pretty flat terrain, to boot! The guidebook tells us to “anticipate no facilities between Carrión and Calzadilla with no water and no toilets” (uh, ok….) but then goes on to say that there is a café móvil (pop up café) at 10km. Well ok then. I’m ok if there’s a coffee a 10-ish km… (except that summer can be unpredictable along the Camino so I do know not to count on information like this…). Breakfast at the hotel I was staying at started at 8.30 (!) so I asked them if they could give me some food to go. It was a little bit of a scramble at 7.15 there and I’m certain this is not standard practice but this is what they came up with:
Because I can’t walk on an empty stomach, I sat in front of the hotel/ monastery and enjoyed some juice and the sandwich…
Uh huh… Somewhere in the guidebook they mentioned a gas station on the edge of town and I wondered if it might be one with a coffee for me. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I didn’t think much more of it until I saw it – gas station complete with a bar full of jolly men enjoying coffee before heading off to work. I joined them and sat for a few minute thinking that the unexpected coffee is always the best coffee! Right? Reluctantly, I left my new friends (and the GOOD coffee) and set out for the 10km stretch with no facilities.
This section was REALLY lonely…
On this section of the walk, I did not see ONE person. Not one. I will admit to checking Google Maps more than once to see I was going in the right direction (not always useful because Maps wants to put you on the actual road, not the Camino, some of the time). Also I kept checking to see how far I had walked… Because, you know, there might have been a pop up café sometime around 10km…
Quite possibly the worst tasting coffee I had all trip but in context, THE BEST! The guy who runs this is running it all off a generator. He had a BBQ going with sausages even! But no espresso maker (or toilet) for which we will forgive him. Here, a few other walkers popped up making me wonder where on earth they had been all morning. The Camino’s like that – for ages you don’t see anyone and then there they all are!
The weather was seriously looking like rain was coming soon at this point..
To arrive in the adorable town of Calzadilla de la Cueza around midday…
At this point, I retreated to my room for a really long nap (I hadn’t been napping much in the afternoons and was feeling pretty fatigued). In any case, Calzadilla is TINY (pop 60), emerging later to collect my clean clothes and wander the two streets…
Yes, that IS a slice of tortilla wrapped in jamón on a piece of bread. PERFECT! I wasn’t really hungry for dinner (especially after this) so enjoyed a kind of fruit salad (banana, apple, orange) in my room with some granola, fruit and nuts and had an early night. While I was thinking that I was slacking off and I totally could have walked the 26km which was the full stage today, in my head, I knew that a couple of shorter days would do me (and my legs!) good.
Plus, out of my window there was this peaceful scene to contemplate…
Stay tuned – just few more days to go for this year’s section!
Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trips, they have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking another Camino walk with them for next summer (and every summer until I reach Santiago!).
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