Day 20 – When in Rome…


Day 20
Terradillos de los Templarios – Calzadar de los Hermanillos

After an early start and a monotonous trek on a thread of gravel paralleling the highway to Sahagún, we make a sharp right turn (with the city in our sights), eventually cross a small Romanesque bridge and come across a Knights Templar church, that appears well preserved.
From there we snake through Sahagún, grab lunch to go and decide to take the road less traveled.
Who wouldn’t want to walk a 2000 year old road?  The same road the Romans made and traveled by Ceasar Augustus, Charlemagne, and countless peregrinos.

At some point in the early afternoon we found ourselves completely alone.  No one ahead.  No one behind for as far as the eye could see.  It’s a treat but also a little disconcerting.
We must be the only “crazy” ones to take the longer route nearly devoid of any shade except that which we provide for ourselves via our umbrellas.  Rolling fields of wheat sprinkled with sparse groves of oak trees are our company for several kilometers.  We lunch under the shade of an oak a bit off the trail with swarms of flies for our company.  Later we pass a vacant swimming pool, that begs to tell a story.
It is here we notice we are not alone, more “crazies” are headed our way.  We just are in the lead.  As we walk we meet up with a Canadian couple we have been running into for quite some time.  We walk and talk all the way into Calzadar de los Hermanillos that for the most part thankfully appears out if nowhere.  The private albergue that the Canadians have made prior reservations at is “completo”, so we move on hoping that the only other option, the municiple albergue is NOT “completo”.  Thankfully it is not, and we are treated to the memorable stay of our trip to date.  Had there not been room, I was not beneath asking the old woman who was seated in her rocking chair on a yard filled with beautiful green grass and a large German Sheppard if we could sleep on her lawn.  However, there was no need to ask.  Once checked into the albergue, that survives on donations we found the volunteer hospitalier, Alphonso from Italy, the best host we have had.  He was most engaging, and quite funny.  He truly enjoyed and embraced his job.  The only thing I thought odd, was that we were required to place our backpacks in “used ” large garbage bags before we brought them into the albergue.  This was to guard against the potential for bed bugs.  My only thought was, didn’t reusing the trash bags defeat the purpose?  Oh well…
After a dinner of a left over sandwich and some crushes oreos, Alphonso had organized a “talent show” of sorts to showcase one our fellow peregrinos, a Finnish woman who sings like an angel.

She will sing, only if others will sing as well…it doesn’t have to be good, and compared to her, its not…but entertaining all the same.  I croak (I have a cold now) out a lullaby that I used to sing to my kids, and Paul thanks me for taking one for the “team”.  Alphonso sings a few, as he is not shy, and others participate as well.  Once 10 pm rolls around, it is time for us to squeeze into our bunks for lights out.  Poor Gary from Colorado is 6’4″ and must sleep in the fetal position.  Soon the snore-fest begins, and I join them in no time after a hearty dose of cold medicine.

Buen Camino!
Be Strong!  Austin Strong!

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