Thursday, May 5, 2016
Distance: 26.8 km
8:14 – I’m having breakfast at the same place I had dinner at last night. Boring? Hey, I know their wifi password.
9:10 – It’s time to move on. A sign outside the bar indicates that it’s 410.7 km to Santiago, although I’m not the only one to question that. I do know that I’m on stage 19 of 35 so technically in the middle third or what some pilgrims call the reflective stage. The first third is all about the blisters, aches and pains (and for some, adjusting to hostels). The middle third is largely flat and not as visually spectacular as the start so many pilgrims fall into a reflective mood. The final stage, especially as you get closer to Santiago, is said to be the spiritual stage. We’ll see about that.
9:16 – I leave the bar and set off on a 17.6 km long, very flat walk to the first town, Calzadilla. I’m listening to the new Pet Shop Boys album (Super) and the first song starts off: “It’s a long way to happiness, a long way to go. But I’m going to get there boy, the only way I know.”
10:30 – All I can think about is a long term investment in Deere & Co. I’ve seen many tractors this morning and every one has been a Deere. I saw the familiar green and yellow tractors in India and China as well, although to a lesser extent than here in Spain. This tells me there are Deere distributors in these countries. With India and China you’re talking about countries that are rapidly moving toward large scale farming. The market for larger and better tractors and harvesters will only grow over the next decade and Deere appears to be well established. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell more equipment in India than in America at some point – after all there are 1.2 billion mouths to feed in India alone!
15:04 – I got to Calzadilla, although much of the walk was a blur. A portion of the trail follows an old paved Roman road known as the Via Aquitana and Julius Caesar is known to have covered this very ground. It looked a lot like the back roads between Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie to me.
16:22 – I am sitting on a bench on the way out of Ledigos and a man of about 80 has just invited me to his house. I think. He’s probably aware that both of the town’s hostels are full. I really should follow him but I’m not sure if he wants to rent me a room or if I’ll be his guest. I would normally be up for the adventure but in this case something tells me to press on towards the next town. It’s less than 4 km to Terradillos de los Templarios so I decline the offer, put my socks and boots back on and hit the road.
17:30 – There are two beds left at the very modern but institutional looking albergue in Terradillos de los Templarios. While checking in, the extremely friendly woman at the desk asked if I had laundry. I gave her one set of clothes and headed to the bar. Although it feels a bit like a seniors home, I could learn to like this place!
19:45 – That sound you hear is the sucker siren. The cost to wash and dry one pair of pants, one shirt, one pair of underwear and 3 socks (don’t ask) was 10€. Yep, about CAD $15. Apparently it was 3€ for the wash and 7€ for the dryer. This is the first time on the Camino that I’ve felt like I was taken advantage of.