Archive | October, 2012

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El Camino: Day 20 (El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas)

Posted on 03 October 2012 by christie

Woman with baby

Woman on the Camino with her 18 month old baby

Our two 30 kilometer days left us exhausted and excited to sleep in this morning. As we were waking up, we heard our names, “Christie! Brett! Christie! Brett!”. We jumped up thinking it was the bag transport company “Camino Facil“. I looked down from our balcony and low and behold there was Dee Anna wondering if we were coming to walk. Apparently, she has been throwing rocks at someone else’s window thinking it was our room. We told her to go on and we’d catch up later.

We had a lazy morning and by the time we set off on the road it was close to 10:00. The entire first 13 km stretch from Burgo Ranero to Reliegos village was quite monotonous. The Camino path is tree-lined gravel next to a side road. The scenery is all the same with flat dry plains with a few patches of trees with picnic areas for relaxing. As we had left late today, we didn’t see many pilgrims on the road. We did run into the Spanish hippie woman who is traveling with her 18-month old boy. She chugs along pushing him in a three wheel stroller. Sometimes she sleeps in the albergue when they allow babies. Otherwise, they sleep outside in a tent….. must be freezing! Continue Reading

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El Camino: Day 19 (Moratinos to El Burgo Ranero)

Posted on 02 October 2012 by christie

Left to Santiago

Only 315km to Santiago! I think this sign is actually a bit optimistic, it’s more like 375km left!

The quiet deserted town of Moratinos allowed us to have one of the soundest sleeps of the Camino. While still dark outside, we woke up to meet our pilgrim friends Al and Ronda (from British Columbia) for breakfast. Their Hostal Moratinos is run by a kind German couple. We had our first vegetable egg omelette in a long time, and it came with lovely pumpernickel bread.

Although the sun was just rising, several pilgrims were arriving in Moratinos from Terradillos de Templarios. I can not believe how early people set out while it’s still pitch black outside. I wondered why? What’s the reason to do the Camino in the dark? Do they not want to see Spain or the Camino? I have yet to answer this question….. but, I have a few hunches. Several pilgrims leave early to be the first to arrive at their choice of albergue. Many albergues fill up so fast, it’s a race for pilgrims to claim their bed. While this may be understandable, aren’t these pilgrims missing the Camino’s spiritual essence by rushing through it each day? Continue Reading

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El Camino: Day 18 (Carrion de los Condes to Moratinos)

Posted on 01 October 2012 by christie

The Long Road

The long 30 kilometer day ahead

This particular section of the Meseta is extremely desolate with very few villages, restaurants or places to stay. We had to make some hard decisions since the towns are so spread out and there is a lot of ground to cover between Burgos and Leon. We opted to make two long 30 kilometer days back to back. It didn’t help all the stores are closed in Carrion de los Condes on Sunday. We didn’t have any food for the first 17 kilometer stretch of nothingness to Calzadilla de la Cueza.

Resting Pilgrims

Pilgrims taking a rest after the longer 17 km stretch of nothingness

On our way out of town, Dee Anne flagged us down to have some coffee in a local cafe. We walked with her for the first 4 kilometers out of town, and then she fell back taking some alone time. We were all in good spirits as Dee Anne decided to try our idea to listen to an audiobook while walking. Like many of us, she’s been having a rough time physically and emotionally on the Camino. Today in particular could easily be torturous as we were mostly just walking into emptiness. There is not much distinct scenery or towns. Just you, the open road, nature and other pilgrims. You really need to dig deep inside yourself and make the journey positive on your own. This can become challenging at times as our minds like to wander into negative thoughts about the past or future. We have been making a conscious effort to be in the present and notice the life and nature all around us. Continue Reading

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