Into The Meseta

Day 14

Today’s walk starts the journey across the meseta.  It’s a relatively short day – about 22 km from Tarjados to Hontanas.

I got a great nights sleep last night, about 8.5 hours.  A quick, but not great breakfast at the hotel and I’m on my way.

The showers of last evening have given way to partly cloudy skies.  I’ll need to put on sunscreen again, but that’s ok.  Made a quick stop for a better breakfast in the first town and continued along.  Lunch in Hornillos is a sandwich and bottle of water.

Not walking with anyone this morning and the time alone allows for more thought. If you look back on my earlier posts, you’ll find that I almost forced insights at the beginning. But it doesn’t work that way, and the Camino is working its magic… I find more clarity and deeper thinking, not forced, as I go along.  And that’s a good thing.  Today just feels more relaxing.
I’m sure my thoughts and insights will change again by the end of the Camino.

It started to become clearer as I was sitting in a bar for lunch and a song came on their audio system while I was thinking about my new friends – the one that stayed in Burgos and the ones that continued on with me but haven’t seen in a while.  The song isn’t important, but it’s one that made the pop charts some time ago… and all of a sudden it seemed dusty in there.  It brought home the meaning of friendships, the kind where you laugh and find joy when you’re together and the kind you miss when an away without knowing when you’ll see them again.  The kinds of friendship I’ve longed for but seldom have let folks “in” to my inner circle very often.  The walk on the Camino has let me open up a bit… and I find the rewards to be indescribable.  I hope to see them again – I hope we stay in touch  and want to find a way to make that happen. I miss them, the camaraderie, the laughs, and the stories. I miss my loved ones & friends at home a lot, too. Music is powerful stuff.

Ok, dust cleared.

The other thing I realized is that I tend to push and continue non-stop, rarely looking back. For example, I love photography, and especially travel photography, but when traveling I rarely stop to take that picture – usually thinking that it’ll slow me down or something. Bzzzt – wrong answer. Creativity sometimes means slowing down, smelling the roses, and looking behind. And stopping to make the opportunity. It can’t always be about convenience. I’m finding that I take more photos on this trip with my iPhone because my nice little camera is less convenient to get to and requires a longer stop. And stopping to get the better camera out will slow me down.

Among other reasons that I planned to stay in hotels (or reserved rooms) each night was to not feel time pressure. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the need to book several days ahead to stay where I want and my internal clock telling me to get there. Getthereitis is a term often used in aviation as representing a dangerous attitude that can lead to crashes… I could put it aside for flying as my life and the lives of others depended on a good attitude. Now I just need to do the same for things like photography and travel. The Camino is opening my mind to the possibilities.

So the reservation situation is a blessing and a curse. I know I’m not really good with “dorm” or “barracks” -like situations with many beds in a room. So I really want the private room. Having to book several days ahead removes some spontaneity from the trip, but it also should improve the spontaneity each day as there’s less pressure to “get there”. I need to find the balance. (Tomorrow will be an unusually long day, but I have an unusually sort one later this week, too, so clearly I haven’t found the balance yet). Ah well, something else to work on.

Back to the walk. Today brought me into the Meseta. For those unfamiliar, they are sort of like mesas in the western US, but much larger – high above the surrounding landscape and flat on top. These are different as they are much larger than what we’re used to in the US, and they are in farming country. Climbing the first one (about 125 meters above the surrounding land) brought me to a top with emerald waves of growing grain as far as the eye can see with some wind turbines along the edge. It really is stunning and beautiful. There are piles of rocks that have been cleared from the fields and a few unpacked farm roads crossing the landscape. All day, I saw only one house and a couple of albergues atop the meseta(s). That’s all.

Descended from the first Meseta into Hornillos where I had lunch.  After lunch, back up another one leading me to my final destination in Hontanas.  The Meseta are several km across each.  Total walk today was about 20.5 km.

The Apple Watch is acting up again- the distance is significantly low and the green sensor lights are on.  Lovely.

I needed to get some more Compeed for foot blisters and saw a store in Hornillas that had some.  And wet wipes.  So I’ve cleaned the watch again and see what will happen.

The rural hotel is just fine.  Check-in up the street at a co-owned albergue & set a dinner and breakfast time with them.  Tomorrow will be a very long day (34 km) so I want an early start.  My legs feel comfortable and ready to make the trip.  The next day will be 21 km, so a bit like today.

And that wraps another day on the Camino.  Tomorrow, to Fromista. 

A reminder that the raw, unedited/uncaptioned photo feed is at There are a few fro today there.