My Life as a Traveler

Made it Through the Wilderness

June 9, 2012

Someone is rustling their backpack outside of our room at ten to five. I turn off my alarm and proceed to get ready:

  • pull on my knee brace (knee not swollen but I still like to wear it, only during walking)
  • take off my shirt and skirt (best outfit for sleeping and for going out in) and pull on my pants, sports bra, and shirt that I laid out at the foot of the bed
  • plug in my phone to charge a bit
  • go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, splash a little water on my face and smear it with SPF80.
  • back to the room, load toiletries and bathroom shoes in main backpack compartment
  • take pillowcase off pillow and stuff sleeping bag into it’s carry bag (noisy), stuff both into front pocket
  • stuff raincoat in on top of sleeping bag after seeing stars in the sky instead of clouds and get tape ready
  • find a place with enough light (back to bathroom) and tape heels and big toes with thick tape, tape toes with skinny tape, put a big Compeed on my joint below my big toe. I’m down to just wearing liners as my technical SmartWool socks are smashing my toes together, causing unending blisters. Yesterday, wearing just the liners was great and my toes did not get new blisters, but I need to tape the rubby spots to avoid more
  • put socks on
  • unplug phone and put charger and converter in chargers bag, phone in pocket on top of pack where I can reach it while walking
  • put food on top of everything in main pack compartment
  • put on fleece jacket, put on shoes, and head downstairs to get the cheese and yogurt out of the fridge in the common room.

It’s now almost 6am and I need to meet Uli at the town square, because we’re walking together today.

Lots of pilgrims leave early for this leg, so we are not alone. It’s cool, but not cold, with a nice sunrise behind us. This part of the Camino, the flat meseta, is said to be the most ugly and boring of the rural trail, but I find it compelling. I suppose in August, these flat, green, wheat fields are a never-ending brown, but right now, it’s nice to see the wind play over them. It should take us 4-5hours to walk this stretch. After a couple of hours, we find a bush for our morning pee (on the flat trail with lots of pilgrims, it’s a challenge to find a sort-of-private spot), and, just half an hour after that, we are hungry for breakfast. Suddenly (relatively speaking), on the right hand side in some trees is a guy with a little trailer serving coffee, snacks, and hot dogs on the grill. Coffeeeee in the wilderness! Another Camino miracle! We order a cup and eat our yogurt, fruit, and little cakes from the breakfast before. Perfect.

Just after 10am, we see the roofs of a town. We made it through the Wilderness, and celebrated with another coffee and a cookie. Another 5km through a flower-lined pastoral trail, we find another small town and stop for a celebratory beer (Uli has soda). In 3km more (about 45 minutes), we arrive at our next stop, Terredillos de la Templarios, an ancient Templar stronghold back in the day. Now there’s a nice albergue here with great food for dinner, a lovely patio, and tinto de verano. We have a little snack with our leftover food. People show up that we know, but I’m being anti-social after shower and laundry to blog blog blog. There’s a patio above the kitchen and I have a nice view. Up til now, I’ve been writing about things anywhere from one day to several days behind, but today I am writing about today. Hooray! Just heard from Morgan, he is 14km ahead – another 40km day for him. Whew!

We are sharing our room with two Australian women about our age who had their bags shipped ahead. After they checked in and found their bags, they came up with a bottle and two glasses of wine. Now, that’s the way to end a walk! Since there’s only 4 of us (no guys) in there tonight, it should be good sleeping. Dinner tonight at the Albergue was great: garlic/bread homemade soup, pan-fried local trout and salad, and an orange for dessert (no flan?) We sit next to Antonio, a very cute Brazilian guy who only speaks Portugese. We’re eventually joined by a German couple who Uli can talk to, and Sebastian from France, who is running the Camino before his wedding at the end of the month.

Sooo tired, in bed and sleeping before 9pm and it’s still light. Right before I fall asleep I read that this town is exactly halfway between St. Jean and Santiago. Halfway……..

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