Sunday, August 25th

Calzadilla de la Cueva
When most of your fellow pilgrims are bikie pilgrims, it's easier to sleep late, as there's no gung-ho pilgrims packing at five in the morning. Helps no end.

a little later
2kms to Saint Nicolás del Real Camino, met up with Louisa again, walked to Ledigos, and had a coffee there. A bar, where everything seemed new and squeaky clean and very plastic. Louise believes she is clairvoyant, being able to tell things about a person, Krishnamurti gets mentioned, having to see events from the past and not put a name on them, just to see them as they are. I talk about some issues of my own, and she of hers.


Terradillos de los Templarios
Already at the destination, waiting at the refugio, haven't checked in yet. The cleaning ladies are still cleaning, and bringing in the washed sheets from the clothes line.

In the courtyard area of the refugio, there's the 'Cocina' sign over the door to the kitchen; 'Alimentation', which I suspect is the grocery shop, 'Recepcion', kind of obvious really, and the 'Comedor', being some kind of sitting room.

No telephone in this town either.

And the three Australians just turned up. Chris, Peter and Drew. Unfortunately they're from Queensland. Chatted a while, and they too have moved on, intending to walk to Sahagun, if not further, a 40plus kilometre day. Bejaysus, you'd have to be from Queensland.

Around here, there's people from Quebec, California, Germany, Spain, and another one from Australia, in fact, another Melbournian as it turns out, from Brunswick. They're moving on too.
The conversation I'm overhearing is concerning food additives. According to the Californian, they are chemicals in Doritos that actually make you want to eat more. Conspiracy theorists abound. Another guy in the group explained how he's just hitch-hiked into Sahagun, then back again, just for something to do. Granted, this town isn't exactly overwhelming me with entertainment options. But now, the Californian is asking somebody else if they have oranges in Germany. Two more pilgrims turn up, New Zealanders, and they appear to be really familiar with the conspiracy theorists.

Inside the Comedor. The weather's on TV, and the next few days are promising to be crap.

And back from yet another walk around the town. Didn't take long. Five minutes, tops.

Brick houses, the older ones of adobe, the really old ones have crumbled to ruins, the walls now returning to the mud piles from whence they came, but you can still tell where the rooms used to be.

There's a distinctive waft, from the cowsheds, and little dogs yapping; there's an old man with bloodshot eyes sitting on the footpath, and another old man, bent, having to use two walking sticks to stop himself doubling over completely; the playground that looks like it hasn't been used in years, the typically locked church. Maybe if they were seriously promoting the Camino as a pilgrimage walk they could ensure that they were open more often; the cemetery up on the hill, just down from the refugio; the stone with the incised yellow arrow, pointing a way that may be the variation on the Camino, the other arrows painted on the road leading to the refugio, other arrows directing you to the main road. Too many arrows.

Trying to think of a time when I have been so bored. Yesterday, maybe, but at least there was a bar to walk to, or the Barcelona pilgrim carving a top for his newfound bottle, and the incense burning hospitalero. But here, there's even less. There's three middle aged women talking around a table, and in the middle there's a pile of small cakes; there's clots of pilgrims in the courtyard area; there's 'Going to Kansas City' on the TV, there's a painting of a hippy walkin' down the road playin' his guitar; and there's yet another framed photograph of Pilgrim Extraordinaire.

Still here
There's five tables. At one, two men are writing. Probably yet more intended books on one's personal experience of Walking The Camino; at the next, a group of four play cards and eat lollies; at another, a group of four drink red wine and eat biscuits, they're talking in English, but this time the conversation is about bizarre accidents that happen to other people; at another table, there's a couple, she's writing, presumably about Walking The Camino, while he's looking at her write. And at this table, there's me, opposite a guy who looks like he's planning his walk, as he's underlining sections and circling other words.
The Californian Wonder has just brought in two more bottles of red wine, and making comments about the canned food avaliable at the Alimentation. Whatever.
Meanwhile, on the TV, it's now 'Two Mules for Sister Sarah', and Clint Eastwood is speaking fluent Spanish. What a guy, always knew he was a legend.

Another 'pilgrims menu', at the refugio, talking with Stephen, a doctor from Canada. Talking about the Walk, about Paris, Dali and Picasso, about dreams, about the reasons why we're here, about places. Usual peregrino banter. It was good.