Friday, May 6, 2016
Distance: 26.9 km
8:45 – I’m leaving Terradillos de los Templarios with a significantly lighter wallet but one change of very clean and very dry clothes. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal but it’s something I think about while walking. Not posting the price and then charging Ritz Carlton prices just isn’t very Camino-like.
10:41 – Did I really need to read the entire Globe & Mail? Better yet, did I really need to see the Weather Network forecast for the next week?
“Even after the wars between the Moors and Christians in many places Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived for long periods together without many problems. However in the 1560’s, after all Jews had been killed or expelled from Spain, Muslims were forced to convert to Catholicism. This obviously caused problems and many Muslims were expelled from various regions in Spain. Eventually the Church and monarchy considered them so much of a threat that all were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1609.” – CaminoAdventures.com
11:50 – The next town of any significance (and I use the term lightly) is San Nicolas del Real Camino. The Knights Templar owned the town until 1183 when they traded it to the Leafs for a 4th round draft pick. Actually, it was traded for a large tract of undeveloped land in another region of Spain. I’m sure that worked out okay for them.
12:55 – The bridge over Rio Valderaduey is considered by the Spanish to be the halfway point on the Camino Frances. And it is if you only count the Spanish section of the Camino Frances, between Roncesvalles and Santiago de Compostela. Those who started in France, like I did, are well past the halfway mark at this point.
The town of Sahagun is about 8km short of my goal for today but I have decided to stay there for the night and get back on track over the next two days.
16:42 – I’m sure Sahagun is a fine community and a great place to raise kids but bright and cheery and welcoming it is not. Everywhere I look, I see a Sean Yelland painting: dull, dreary, nondescript. It’s never quite obvious whether a building is occupied or abandoned. The life seems to have been sucked out of Sahagun.
Even the dogs running loose on the street were a little vacant. This one barked incessantly at a bird but stood and stared in silence as I passed within a few meters. He wasn’t aggressive or menacing but he didn’t wag his tail either.
20:30 – The Pilgrim Dinner at the Hospederia de las Madres Benedictinas consists of bland paella, one fatty porkchop, seven French fries and a tiny bowl of flan. I’ll consider myself lucky as the Monks who once lived here probably didn’t get the flan.
20:50 – The entire building is freezing and the lady running the place says the boiler has been turned off for the season and it will only get colder this evening. I finish dinner and have a long, hot shower before climbing into bed.
21:50 – A woman knocks at my door and asks that I turn off the light in my bathroom. Why does she care? How does she even know it’s on? I don’t want to make waves so I do as she asks.
21:55 – I don’t know how I missed it when I had my shower but there’s a large window looking into the adjoining room and it’s at chest level in my shower. That’ll teach me for taking my glasses off in the shower!
“Sahagun takes its name from as the place where Saint Facundo and Saint Primitivo were martyred after being betrayed as Christians during the years of persecution under Roman rule.
There was a monastery dedicated to the two saints as far back as the 9th century, which was razed to the ground by Moors, rebuilt, razed again, and once again rebuilt – such is the history of Northern Spain.” – CaminoAdventures.com