The walk was not very exciting as the Camino followed the state highway, but we did see some interesting plants and grasses. The wonderful weather helped us enjoy the walk. For once, it was a bit cold but there was no rain and we enjoyed walking under cloudy skies. I am facinated by the flora and wish I knew the names of every wild grass and plant, weed or flower along the way. Someday! I also love the way that walking on level ground allows us to talk more and not to be so worried about falling or stepping in water.
We also went by one of the famous albergues, Jaques de Molay in Terradillos de los Templarios. I dedicate today’s walk to my brothers: Julio and Ricardo. Wonder if in a past life they were Knights Templars, they are so chivalrous! I love them so! They are such fine men. I know my father is watching over them. They are so different from one another, from my father, yet they are alike in their work ethic, their values, their loyalty and their love of family. As I walk and share stories with Becky, I am reminded of the family and of my friends back in San Antonio and in Laredo. At some level, I am homesick, on another level, I so love the Camino I don’t want to go back.
Finally in Palencia!Galicia can’t be far and then Santiago!
Finally in Palencia!
We had wanted to stop and have some lunch in Terradillos, but everything was closed and we could not find a single bar or cafe open until we stopped at a restaurant in San Nicolas.
Restaurant in San Nicolas
My mystical poem for the day is of thanksgiving to an old couple helped us find our way into Sahagun. She, bundled up in multiple sweaters, scarves, and a brown plaid coat. He, in the usual beret and jacket with heavy shirt and coduroy pants. She had coarse black hair growing on her upper lip and chin, blackheads on her nose–not very attractive, I know. But her bright eyes shone with life and joy; her insistence onthe path to get us to the Albergue without extra steps made her beautiful. He said, “es una paliza” and called us “locas.” He quoted a priest who said of those coming from Coruña 400 are crazy. She laughed and added “si acaso les cumple vale la pena.” I agreed. There are so many miracles I am asking for: for the boys, Alex, Tony, Adan, Julito–all of the nephews and nieces–Ana, Klariza, Lisa, Maribel, Selina, even Lydian… and the grandkids too: Justice, Destin, Yaya, Antoine, Sophia, Abby, Alexa, Ari and Tris…tod@s
! I also want miracles for my students: jobs, completion of dissertations, happiness, growth. I pray that they may do work that matters, as Anzaldúa urged. May all miracles come to be.
I wish there were arrows pointing the way in life, like the ones we saw along the Camino. The arrows saved us many times. I am certain we would have been lost if not for the yellow markers.
Arrow in Moratinos showing the way at a crossroads.
When we finally walked into Sahagun, we find it is as the old couple warned us, easy to get lost. But we don’t and we arrive at the Albergue Municipal Iglesia de la Trinidad. It retains its religious name but it is a government run albergue as Javier, the hospitalero, who stamped our credencial with the stamp for a restaurant across the street informed us; he also told us about the tourist museum on the ground floor. The stamp for the albergue had been put away under lock and key and he didn’t have the key even when he returned at 9 p.m. to stamp everyone’s credencial. We met Jack at a local store where we bought some fixings for dinner; he is in the same albergue too as is the young man from Belgium–the two of them speak in French and switch to Dutch as we chat over dinner.
We take extra golden seal and echinecea to boost our immune defenses. We don’t want to get sick! Javier has returned and we chat with him. He calls a woman on the phone who is also an hospitalera for Grañon and she tells me that there is a Friends of Grañon group I should join. I say sure, but then think it may not be feasible. Javier has traveled in the States too and speaks some English. I have not had occasion to use the Basque vocabulary I learned in Estella: Agur=adios, Gero Arte=hasta la vista, eskerri asko=muchas gracias, egun on=buenos dias. I wish I could be in the area long enough to really pick it up. Everyone uses these phrases as they code switch back and forth; but not here, in Palencia. We are getting closer to Galicia and I am sure we will meet those who speak Gallego before too long. Becky and I discuss the plan for tomorrow and decide we want to take a train part of the way, at least to El Burgo Ranero. We will take a day off in León, but we have not had a day of rest since Christmas day! We are very cold in the albergue due to the high ceilings and lack of heat. We see that some windows way up high are open! Brrrrr!
Interior of Albergue in Sahagun
Exterior of Albergue in Sahagun
MEDITATION FOCUS: Enjoy the present. the past is gone and the future not here yet; remember to be in the NOW.