The walk to Fromista was lovely and a little shorter today for me. I’m glad as I need to find a farmacia to refill Zantac and ibuprofen medicine. I switched out my hiking boots for my HOKA shoes and OMG what a difference. The gravel pathways were starting to get a bit much for my feet with the hiking boots and the padding provided by this footwear made it easier.
Fromista was a welcome relief and on the outside of the town limits you cross the canal with a waterfall and irrigation system. The coolness from the waterfall was awesome after eating bugs and swatting mosquitos for the last 10km. The canal is moving but there is a lot of standing water, a breeding ground for the little biters. The sound of the cuckoo bird can be meditative or drive you “cuckoo”! It always surprises me when I hear one. Listen to this and imagine walking many kilometers to this sound.
At least today there was a lovely breeze. Arriving inside the town limits I find this little canopied area to sit and have a beer. San Miguel Selecta went down so easy!
I walked entirely alone today and loved the solitude but at he end of the day, it is wonderful spotting people from earlier stages and sharing stories. Derek and Suzie from Devon, England dropped by for a drink.
Time to find lodging. Being a slow walker makes it difficult to locate cheaper accommodations and today is no different. The municipal albergue is full at 1:30 pm. I decided to head to the hotel San Marin next door and it was lovely. A bath tub!!! I’m usually a shower girl but today, I am going to languish in a bath. Afterwards, it was drinks with the German girls Bianca, Stephanie and our Orleans, ON girl Sylvie at the hotel cafe and then dinner. Walking through the door for dinner I hear, “DONNA!!” and Marlo from Toronto comes running over to me to hug me. We met in Bayonne on the first day and she had been inquiring about me over the last few days. So sweet! We had a lovely conversation throughout dinner. I met Gwen (Australia), Evelyn and Jim (Baltimore – retired judges) and an adorable Frenchman (Pierre) who is finishing off his 5th leg of the Camino. No Ronaldo yet!!!
Gwen’s room was next to mine with thin walls. She said she broke out laughing when she heard me get into the bathtub and was groaning with delight!
All rested up and ready to go! I have my allergy meds, ibuprofen and feet all ready to go. Heading out on the trail the innkeeper points me in the right direction. I take the scenic route along the canal and it is lovely. I meet some Aussie girls and then a mother and daughter from New York. Walking for a while we shared our stories and parted ways shortly thereafter only to be reunited in Carrion de Los Condes. That is the way of the Camino.
At the next coffee stop, I’m fascinated by the poplar tree pollen falling. It is like a winter snow fall and bubbles in a bath.
Sitting on a concrete bench was a young 29 year old Irishman (Gavin) from Cork who was explaining his foot issue to me. His wife (Thayna) is nursing her wounds around the corner. We end up walking together where Thayna shares their love story. I’m enchanted with these two. Gavin would always add an extra bit to the story and Thayna would just smile. Just like an Irishman. I connected with Gavin as he has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in England and as I share that interest was picking his brains about it.
We stopped in a little village of Villamentero de Campos for a picnic lunch. There was a beautiful church and a cool water pump with cool, clean water. We found some shade and enjoyed a lovely lunch. My brother Kevin came to mind as the bees were buzzing above our heads and two mating bees just missed my head as they fell to the ground. I don’t think Kevin would have enjoyed this place very much!!! Bzzzzzz lol
Gavin filled up his water bottle at every pump along the way and finally dunked his entire head in the water to cool off.
Gavin and his love Thayna made this section of the meseta very enjoyable, although the last 6-8 km were dreadful for all of us. Heat, straight path and nothing of interest! Gavin walked on the opposite side of the road dancing and playing Beatles music and Thayna and I just chatted about whatever came up…life in Ireland, life in Brazil and how their families reacted to them getting married at such a young age. It was a happy time.
As the town of Carrion de Los Condes appears on the horizon, it is like a mirage…it never seemed to get closer. Sweat dripping off my chin, gnats pasted to my skin and bees buzzing everywhere. Not such a happy time in those last few kilometers. Once inside the town walls, the bed scramble began. The monastery was full, but we did manage to find a hostal not on the map. Opened for 2 weeks, you could still smell the fresh paint. Gavin and Thayna went to their room and I headed to mine for laundry and a shower. Chores done, time for a drink. I knocked on the couple’s door and after applying first aid to Gavin’s blister we headed across the Plaza Mayor to a bar for a beer. It tasted so good!! Gavin entertained me with his accents and then fellow pilgrims joined the table until we broke for dinner. Gavin and Thayna went back to their room so Gavin could prepare a meal for them while Derek, Suzie and I headed out for a non-pilgrim meal which was delicious!!!
Teetering back home (1 block) I got ready for bed, slipped under the covers and stretched out under fresh sheets. My window was open to let in the life from the streets and fresh air and the bells sounded every 30 minutes just in case you forgot what time it was. So much for sleep! lol