Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conquering the Meseta?


Final thoughts from Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, population 200. . .


I forgot to mention that we entered the Province of León yesterday for the first time. Dinner was quite good and was highlighted by tremendous desserts. My flan was both enormous and delicious.

STAGE 19
Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas
24.5 km/15.2 miles
Time Walked, 5:27

Total Distance Walked, 453.4 km/281.7 miles
Total Time Walked, 111:11
19 Nights in Albergues, 105 Euros

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
345.2 km/214.5 miles

This was a long and painful day, the hardest for me since the Pyrenees. I was out the door at 7:00 a.m. and was able to beat the heat as usual. The problem is that between my two towns today there is NOTHING! Not an asphalt road, not a senda, not a bridge, not a metal signpost, not a town, not a village, not a farmyard and not even a house until you reach a Spanish maximum security prison just outside of Mansilla de las Mulas, population 1,800. That really makes it hard on you mentally as there are no landmarks to mentally check off as you go.

I'm also having problems with my lower left leg but I gutted/limped it off, "What Would Craig Slavin Do?"

Trine, Julie, Jillian and Jaime took the bus today to let their injuries heal. Actually, Trine went all the way to León which is tomorrow's destination where we will all hook up again. God bless her heart, Ruth walked the whole way today, I'm very proud of her effort on this dismal day.

In Jason Johnson's great guide to the Camino he states, "After Sahagún, you have conquered the Meseta." Of course he does also mention that he took the bus to León from Sahagún thus missing the last two and a half days on this fun loving Spanish plain. . . wuss!

Most of today was on the Calzada Romana, the old Roman road used by the Roman military and traders between France's Bordeaux region and the Spanish mines in Astorga. This summer Roman sandals were all the rage in women's fashion in Europe. I would love to see a lady try walking this road in a pair of those!

I finally found a tobacco store that was open, although most of the towns we are in are too small to merit such a luxury emporium. I was able to buy a phone card there and was able to talk to Laurie for the first time in three weeks. God it was good to hear her voice!

Vamos Bien!

BUEN CAMINO!!!

4 comments:

Michael Contreras said...

Keep on keepin' on, and watch that left leg.

Johan said...

Hope that leg gets better. Hang in there.

David said...

I trust you will explore the medicinal values of sangria.

JTwice said...

Stretches like the barren one you just experienced lead to what I like to call "The Meseta Blues." As I tried to communicate, the Wuss that I am, I LIMPED into Sahuagun... it was the only time on the entire camino that I was in pain. The part you just walked sped past me in 15 minutes while I trained it to Leon -- how wussy yet weird is that -- and was a better person that night after McDonald's and ice cold refreshment. I am proud that you were not weak like me... enjoy Leon -- great city, and it will cure your aches and pains!

JJ