Before leaving the albergue, we meet the cleaning woman Maria a colombian who stamps our credenciales again but this time with the stamp for the albergue not the confiteria across the street the way Javier had done. I kept a log of events but I kept wishing I could write more. Stories, like the story of how San Facundo was martyred in Sahagun. I wonder if the friar who was in Mexico in the sixteenth century, Bernardino de Sahagún, actually came from this town. Before leaving town, we had breakfast at a Cafe/Hostal Codorniz, where we met up with Lars. He had stayed at the hostal and was walking with difficulty down the stairs; his leg is still bothering him. On the way to the train station, we saw him again. He looked despondent sitting on a bench near the station. It appeared that he was trying to decide whether he had had enough of the Camino and he should go home or whether he should stick it out and keep walking despite the terrible pain. We never saw him again, so we deduced that he had gone back.
We walked to the train station in Sahagún where we met Anastacio García Iglesias, an old man who tells us that he is the typical Spanish man, el español legitimo; he invites us to lunch at his place and wants to tell us his life story. While waiting for the train, we actually talk to him and learn about his wife and about the reporter from the States, una norteamericana, who told him that if he were younger, she would marry him! He repeats the story to the other men in the station at least three times. It is obvious that the town’s old men congregate at the station to talk and reminisce. They walk with a cane, they play cards in the cafes, they come to the station to see what is happening. Our plan is to arrive in El Burgo Ranero and then walk to Reliegos where we will spend the night.
The train ride took all of eleven minutes! Other pilgrims also rode the short distance with us. An Italian woman walked along with a man who hardly spoke. She had terrible blisters and limped along. She reminded me of someone I knew in graduate school: short cropped brown hair, fair skin, big brown eyes and chunky built. She was talkative, but barely said hello to us. When we arrived in El Burgo Ranero,
we walked a while, and then decided we couldn’t do it. So, we found a taxi to take us to Reliegos. I had some pain on my knee and under my toes. Becky also felt it best that we rest a bit and so we only walked a bit and took the taxi that the shop owner called for us. The shop owner was dressed as a mechanic and had obviously been out working. The taxi driver took us directly to the albergue in Reliegos. A pilgrim was already there, Jose. He’s the one that Jack had told us about, a madrileño who reads Tarot cards! In fact, Jack had stayed at Sahagún hoping to meet up with him. When we told Jose this story, he was sorry that he had not stayed there after all. He too is having severe pain; we figure out that it must be that he is wearing the wrong boots. We did a reiki treatment on his feet and it seemed to help, but Becky insisted that he should get new boots in León.
After settling in, we went to get dinner at Bar Gil: bocadillo de tortilla francesa and a pineapple juice. We sat in the midst of several men who played cards and talked so loud we couldn’t hear the TV that was set to a news channel. But the best part is that they were not smoking! The law forbids smoking in restaurants and bars and since January 2,;we found that the new law is was being obeyed.
The kitchen in Reliegos was empty; but well equipped.I imagine in the summer it is full of pilgrims cooking and chatting and sharing stories.
Before going to sleep, Jose read our cards.
Mine was a general reading and not very clear; several cards were higher arcana, which means something in terms of the physical, the creative, with the Hermit being the last card. Quentin, the young man from Belgium, is in the room next door without a space heater; Jose, Becky and I asked if he wanted to sleep in our large room with the space heater, he declined.
MEDITATION FOCUS: I have not written about the town of Moratinos. it is an old town with an old church. I was intrigued by an adobe structure with New-Mexico-blue windows and doorways. In one home, a buddha face, tranquil, eyes closed looks out of a second story window witnessing it all. the same blue as at the labrynth we walked earlier at a descanso outside of town. The energy as I walked the labrynth was palpable. Becky cleaned the labrynth of cigarette stubs and litter. I felt a sacredness at the place I had not felt before. Maybe that is what I am seeking, a sense of the sacred in the midst of the profane, the ordianay. As a mystic my writings would be seeking a place for the sacred amidst contemporary life: calm and peace in while also using cell phones and IPads, peace in the midst of traffic jams. Why not? A prayer: I ask to find the sacredness in me; I ask that my footprint on earth be one that is for good, one that shows the path of peace.