CAMINO FRANCES – DAY 12

FROMISTA – CARRION DE LOS CONDES

8 APRIL

20.5km

I was very excited to start walking again this morning. My knee felt much better with the support of the knee guard and after patching my blisters, I was ready for the day’s walk.

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I am very excited to see this sign … confirmation that we are still on the Camino 😄

Today will be the first time we walk on the“senda”– a road that run alongside the main roads. This might mean that we will have to be more alert with traffic passing by. There was however the option of walking a more scenic path via Villovieco and we decided to rather take this way to enjoy more peace and quietness.

The more scenic path via Villovieco – a beautiful tree lined riverside path

Thinking back, this was the ideal day to start walking again. We were still on the Meseta (no up- or down hills) and sunny weather. I enjoyed this day on the Camino and was glad to be back on my feet again.

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In Villovieco – with a population of only 100

On our way to Villalcazar de Sirga, we saw this building (Hermitage of Our Lady of the River)

One thing that is sometimes very confusing, is the distance markers along the way. You can never be exactly sure of the distance to Santiago if you look at the signs next to the road (though, if you follow the Camino with John Brierley’s guide book, the distances are more accurate).

In Villalcazar de Sirga we saw a vending machine indicating that Santiago is 419km further ahead and as we left the town (about 200m further), we saw another sign post, now indicating Santiago as 463km!

Within 200m, Santiago just got more than 40km further … how far is Santiago really?

Berto came to the conclusion that the vending machine was probably moved from another spot … possibly, but more than 40km further can make a huge difference to one’s mindset!

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The “senda” that run alongside the main road

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Carrion de los Condes in the distance – only 2km to go, but on foot it takes some time to get there 🤨

It was just after 13:00 when we arrived in Carrion de los Condes. As we were looking around for a place to sleep for the night, another pilgrim spotted us and directed us to Albergue Santa Maria. When we got to the albergue, it was still closed, but a very friendly gentleman came out to greet us. He suggested that we leave our backpacks in the garage at the albergue to explore the town and then return at 14:00 when they will open their doors to pilgrims.

We are now in Carrion de los Conde

We went to a café where we had a “cerveza” and “bocadillo” (ham sandwich). The café was almost at the entrance of the town and we saw many pilgrims coming into Carrion de los Condes – we also recognised a couple of our fellow Camino friends.

Back at the albergue, our beds are in a communal room and I once again had to sleep on the upper bunk bed. There were about 20 beds in the room and later that evening every bed was occupied.

It was here that we first met Monica from Sweden. As I got out of the shower, she was tending to her feet and we compared our blisters … I was thinking that it was probably only on the Camino that one would not shy away from showing your feet to total strangers 🤪.

I invited Monica to sit with us in the back garden where we spent the rest of the afternoon in the sun, drinking beer and wine while our clothes were getting dry on the washing line.

The best time of the day – sipping a beer and enjoying a glass of wine after a long walk 😉

We were invited by the nuns of the local church to attend a ceremony where they sang a few songs and afterwards blessed each pilgrim on their Camino – a very touching and thoughtful gesture.

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Nuns singing in beautiful voices in a special ceremony for the pilgrims in the albergue

It was great to see our Camino friends again. Carl from the USA was there, as well as the big Korean group that we saw since our first day. We were catching up on each one’s journey thus far and spent the rest of the evening sitting outside, while experiencing the Camino feeling of togetherness.

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