Silence would be golden

Day 11

The Casa Rural last night was nice and quiet.  But no breakfast, so I munched on the pasteries and banana and some kind of carbonated orange drink.  Figured I’d stop somewhere for a second breakfast – which I eventually did.

Long walk today from Granon to Villafranca Montes de Oca.  Map says 28 km…. But my Apple Watch continues with its disease of underestimating how far I walk.  I thought they were self-calibrating, but maybe I have to start from scratch.  Or the sunscreen affects the GPS.  All I know is that the actual distance on the watch is somewhere between 65 and 80 percent of the actual number.

Like yesterday, the solitude of the morning Was held hostage by the sounds of trucks and traffic on the soulless highway.  The whoosh of cars, whine of tires on pavement, and growls of trucks were occasionally interrupted by silence.  And again like yesterday, the piercing sound of beep beep beep by construction vehicles dulled the senses.

Today was one of the least interesting days yet.  The fields of grain that are growing, the lack of shade, bright sun, and the Camino being aside the N-120 highway for much of the day made it dull and far less interesting.  

Got my second breakfast at cafe in the second town where I ran across my American friends that I have taken to calling The Five Amigos.  They’ve been walking together and frequently staying in the same albergues.  I’ve joined them for some meals.  Good group – I know that soon we’ll all travel differently but still keep the camaraderie going forward.  They’re about 30 minutes ahead of me this morning, but I know I’ll see them tonight at the hotel or at dinner.   Nice to have the connection, it’s one thing we all long for.

Such is life on the Camino.  

I’ve met folks for all walks of life and situations.  In Hotel California there is a line “some dance to remember, some dance to forget”.  So it is with the Camino – some folks want to forget about their troubles (PTSD, their job layoffs, their divorces, and the loss of loved ones)… those are here to forget… others are here to make new friends and remember the shared experiences of the walk… those are here to remember. I’m in the latter group.

The Camino has an intriguing ability to allow that – it’s the beauty of the trip.

My guess was right – I saw far fewer folks today.  And in the small segments away from traffic, I was able to reflect a bit on the things we take for granted in our everyday lives – but don’t have room for or carry on the trail.  Something as simple as tape, for example.

I also thought about the room booking situation.  Where my friend Gordon was often able to book same-day to get a room for a night, it’s become the case that there are groups and folks using “sherpas” (transport services that take packs from one hotel to the next) that require earlier booking, making for a situation where those of us have to book sooner.  I’ve already found that some places are booked 3-4 days our.

I’ve got a bed reserved in “dormitory” room in Atapuerta for tomorrow, but my new group of friends have suggested that I proceed to the next town with them and have booked 2 rooms – one for 5 people, the other for 2.  I’ll take them up on the offer.  Better to share a room with folks I know than folks I don’t know.  And it will make the next day shorter for me as I plan to walk beyond Burgos to get acceptable spacing for the next 2 nights.

I’m over 1/3 of the distance to Santiago, the marker today puts me around 545 kilometers.  

Tomorrow will come soon enough.  Time to wrap up and head toward bed.  Wi-Fi being bad, this will upload later.

The picture on this post is an object in the hotel in Villafranca.