Thursday, May 12, 2022

Day 19 - 11 May - Carrion to Ledigos

As Bob Dylan famously sang:

How long a road must a man walk down
Before he needs a fa-cil-i-ty
How many miles can a full bladder sail
Before it’s in need of a pee
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs wait
Before they’re ready to land?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

We made good our escape at six thirty five this morning. The mail bags did their job and we scaled down the wall into the courtyard and then off through the gate. We weren’t alone. It was like a mass jail break. The streets of Carrion were full of fleeing peregrinos at silly o’clock. No looking back. The sun hadn’t yet risen so it was cold but we were free. Never look back.

Carrion itself was a nice town. Just don’t book a cell at the monastery. We exited the town over the stone bridge onto the N-120 road and quickly thereafter on to the PP-2241 which appeared to have been built simply to accommodate the adjacent path for peregrinos, such was the absence of traffic. With the best part of eleven miles between Carrion and the next town of Calzadilla de la Cueza this was always likely to be a long day, hence the decision to set off early. A mobile snack van, after four miles, provided opportunity for a coffee and croissant and there were a couple of rest areas along the route but no facilities as such.

I would suggest the average age of the peregrinos that we have seen along the way to be in the region of sixty to sixty five. That’s an average age. Eleven miles. No facilities. Sixty to sixty five. Hmm, what could possibly go wrong? Today’s logistical challenges were not about feet and legs. Today’s logistical challenges were all about bladders and, err, other parts of the digestive waste system. It started fairly early on in the eleven mile challenge. One minute, the middle-aged/ elderly lady is walking on ahead of us, next minute it’s rucksack abandoned and mad dash into the bushes. And therein lies one of the particular challenge of the Meseta - not that many bushes. 

The first eleven miles today pretty much consisted a dead straight path with fields of crops either side. Actually quite pleasing on the eye but less so the bladder. Sad to report there were some casualties but that’s what a good, strong Spanish coffee can do to you. 

Calzadilla was indeed a sight for sore eyes and probably other sore bits as well. But with the temperature rising, peregrinos would be well advised not to forget that, post Calzadilla, they have another four miles to walk before the next village with facilities. Sadly the euphoria of reaching Calzadilla was, for many, temptation too much thus leading to “issues” further down the line. I am pleased to report however that both Mrs C and I were suitably circumspect throughout, resulting in an incident-free journey and safe eventual arrival at the small village of Ledigos.

The walk itself, around fifteen miles, was relatively easy and far more scenic than we had expected. We’re liking this Meseta!

Our accommodation for the night was a private albergue LaMorena and the facilities were superb. Yes we are in a dorm but it is comfy, clean and remarkably private. Plus I have Mrs C underneath me, Manuela next to me on one side and a nice American lady next to me on the other side. What’s not to like?

There were a lot of familiar faces staying at LaMorena including Dan, Tanya (both USA), Carolyn and Manuela (both Germany) plus a few new names to remember. We spent a lot of the afternoon and evening chatting to Geoff from the UK, a seasoned walker/ traveller who, when he isn’t walking/ travelling is an alcohol and drugs counsellor so I was in pretty safe hands throughout. LaMorena was an excellent stopover and I celebrated with several beers, secure in the knowledge that Geoff was on hand just in case.

Today’s long walk has not been without its casualties, including at least three peregrinos with allergy/ hay-fever type symptoms. There were a few sore feet around as well and I am gutted to report my first blister, albeit not painful. Be grateful for small mercies though - today could have been soooo much worse.

We have a relatively easy day tomorrow so I may have a lie in. That’s if Mrs C, Manuela and the nice American lady will give me some peace. 

1 comment:

  1. Great blog G, you two are doing so well. Are you planning your next camino yet?