Monday, December 30, 2013

Camino 2013 - Day 23: Calzadilla De La Cueza To Calzada Del Coto

This walking day was a mix of dreary overcast and drizzle. It didn't help my mood much.  I don't think we saw the sun all day.

Pilgrim art along the Camino.
We stopped at the albergue I stayed in last time in Terradillos de los Templarios.  We bought something to drink and asked if the store in the albergue was open.  The hospitalera stopped her cleaning and unlocked the store for us and we bought some apples and other walking food.  I remember the hospitalera being very nice and opening the store for us reinforces the memory.

As we were were leaving town I was telling Gv about a bad mood outburst I'd had last Camino and how something along the Camino snapped me out of it.  A girl, Hn, overheard me talking and told us her story.  She said she had been in a bad mood and had had an imaginary argument with her father that had really pissed her off and sent her into in a bad mood.  Just then she sees graffiti scrawled on a sign that says "[Hn], walk it off."  It completely snapped her out of her mood.  The Camino strikes again.

The Virgin of the Bridge church and bridge.
The Camino take a short detour to the small church near a bridge.  Since the last time I was there the restoration of the church had been completed and a pair of columns/statues had been erected indicating the geographic half way point of the Camino.  I'm not sure about this.  There are so many official starting points and so many variations on the route I think it is impossible to mark a real geographic middle of the way.

Geographic middle of the Camino marker outside Sahagún.
We stopped in Sahagún for more food and drink and we stopped in a grocery store for more supplies.  After Sahagún my energy ran out.  The next 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) felt unending and I was really happy when we reached Calzada del Coto.  I'd walked without the gel heel pads that I'd worn since Grañon.  My feet hurt a bit but not nearly as bad as before.  I wouldn't need the pads for the rest of the Camino.

We walked into town.  We stopped at a park where other pilgrims were resting.  We looked around to see a sign for the albergue.  There was a building on one side of the park that looked like a public restroom/athletic gear building for the park.  We approached it and Gv noticed a key in the door.  She turned the key and opened the door to a tiny little albergue.  There were two full bathrooms (men's and women's) and two rooms with 12 bunk beds each.  It was the albergue.  There was a donativo box inside the door for donations and an old computer that was no longer plugged in.

The tiny albergue in Calzada del Coto.
Gv, Js (an Aussie girl who followed us into the albergue), and I inspected the place looking for bedbugs and other nasties but found only clean beds with blankets and two clean bathrooms smelling slightly like cleaner.  We dumped our stuff on our bunks (Gand I were in one room and Js took the other) and headed out to find the local bar - there was a sign in the albergue saying that the local bar had the pilgrim's stamp and was sort of in charge of the albergue.  Not sure if our stuff was safe, we locked the door behind us and took the key.

The bar was a distance away (there once was a bar across the street from the albergue but it was now looked abandoned).  But we found it and had some drinks with Js.  She was fun.  We would end up walking with her the next couple of days.

The bar was the only place open in the town so we ate dinner there as well.  I wasn't too hungry so I just settled for a large salad and some hot chocolate.

Just outside of Calzada del Coto the Camino splits in two paths.  One is the original Camino that goes through Calzada del Coto.  The other was added during the last holy year (2010) to handle the larger load of pilgrims and goes through Bercianos del Real Camino.  It seems that most people, including myself last time, take this newer path.  This night there would only be the three of us in the albergue.  All the pilgrims we saw resting outside in the park before had moved on to the next town.  It was a weird experience but a nice change from the crowded albergue we'd been in the night before.  We locked the albergue from the inside, plugged in the electric heater briefly to help get rid of the damp (the rain and drizzle made everything feel damp), and had a great night's sleep.

Pictures can be found in my 2013 Camino de Santiago Google Photos album.

Total Distance on Day 23: 27 km ( 16.78 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 533 km (331.19 Miles)

Approximate Track of the day's hike.
[Click on map for a larger version]

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