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Published: October 6th 2016
Well, this morning didn't go to plan. Last night we had a great meal of garlic soup and paella at the hotel as part of the Alburgue deal, and spent a funny night with 2 Italian sisters, 3 Germans, a strange Spanish woman, an irishman called Shaun, with us completing the set. Wine flowed freely and shots of the local grappa were supplied by the hotel. At about nine I decided to go to sort out my stuff, tape up my feet, and get an early night. I was about to jump into bed when I spotted the young German guy studying something on his blanket; bed bugs !! He caught it and killed it but it's not the last thing you need to see before bed. What can you do, just hope for the best.
I set the alarm for 6am and went to sleep.
The alarm went off and I jumped out of bed and John was up soon after. We packed up, did whatever had to be done, and placed our bags in the foyer. it was about this time when John pointed out it was only 5.30am. Oops! It appears my ipod had readjusted for
Australian daylight savings which meant it was showing an hour ahead.
I killed 1/2 an hour by sitting in the doorway of the hotel up the road, tapping into their WiFi, and at 6am, we had breakfast at the early opener.
Walking by 6.35, we made good pace before misinterpreting a turn and wandering into a very loud, hostile barking noise. As we drew nearer all I could see with my headlight was the evil reflection of two eyes criss crossing the path. I mentioned to John that we had to pass by, and if it was dangerous, others would have been affected and it wouldn't be there. This was a large angry German Shepard; no RinTin Tin, but rather his feral Spanish cousin, Cujo. The walking sticks changed into potential weapon grip and I kept my light in his eyes as he menaced us walking past. Unfortunately, this was not our path but rather a track that led around the back of a large shed right into the path of Cujo again. We survived this shock and backtracked about 400 metres to find the correct path.
After this we continued on along a nice path by
a river, through a few small villages, until we reached Carrión De Los Condes.The scenery mainly consisted of fields of straw stubble, a possible sample of what is to follow tomorrow.
Carrión is a medium sized town set in the Meseta. Locals like to think of it as the half way mark to Santiago but other towns make this claim as well; it would be close though. It sits on the Rio Carrión where Charlemagne is reported to have used the fields along the bank as a camp on his quest to control the pilgrim route.Carrión was home to a dozen pilgrim hospices and still has many shops and Alburgues dedicated to the Way. The local market was in town today, selling all the essentials normally unavailable in these small towns. Clothes, cheap fruit, meat and vegetables and a wide range of shoes where eagerly spruiked by very vocal vendors. Nothing for us though.
Tomorrow has a 17 kilometre stretch where there is no shade, no water, no food, no houses, nothing, so it's important to have adequate water and food for the trip. It's a 27 km walk to Terradillos de Los Templarios, where there is one
Alburgue that holds 90 people in 2 rooms. That's 45 new sleeping companions. Remind me why I'm doing this again ?
Today and the next 4 days are new territory for me, so it will be good to experience. In 4 days we will be in León where a well earned rest day is in order. We keep bumping into the same faces every day or so and its nice to catch up on people's experiences. Some are not good and make us appreciate the Cujo moments.
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