Trajectory: Boadillas del Camino to Carrión de los Condes
Distance: 15 miles, or 24 kilometers
Beauty Rating: 4/10
The first three miles, from Boadillas to Frómista, were quite pleasant. It was brisk but sunny, and the walk was on a flat path alongside a canal that caught the rising sun in its ripples. I got to Frómista by 10 and sat outside, drinking coffee and watching a senior citizen tour bus unload in all its glory. Will I, too, find the outside of buildings to be the cat’s meow in 40 years?
I continued on to what the book called “soulless senderos,” pilgrim paths that run parallel to the highway with a grass ditch of about two feet in depth the only separation between you and the whizzing vehicles. The wind was insane, to the point where I put my poles away because it was causing more effort to keep them on the ground than it was helping me to walk.
Mercifully, not only was the the day a shorter one, but the town was a bigger one with a supermarket. I was able to buy fruits and vegetables and yogurt and tortillas and candy and everything delicious that the magical stores carry. Of course, as soon as I returned with my bounty, some other pilgrims had cooked dinner, and I resigned myself to a social evening. Like the dentist and final exams, group dinners with strangers are never as awful as you anticipate, and I had an enjoyable evening chatting, eating, translating, and drinking.
Trajectory: Carrión de los Condes à Sahagún
Distance: 24.2 miles or 38.7 kilometers
Symptoms of Dehydration: All
Shade: None, save for the bit I threw at the path
Beauty Rating: 2/10
Today was good and bad. I attempted to sneak out by my lonesome, as per usual, but ended up running into three other walkers as I left the albergue. We were all walking the same pace, and I decided to try walking with people for a change. The day was slated to be a long one, with absolutely no tree cover, absolutely no sights, and absolutely no respite from the endless flat landscape and continuous carretera. It did not disappoint.
The first 10.5 miles were a straight line on backroads and a long dirt path. It was about freezing, and the wind sliced the right side of everyone’s face and made talking not like Popeye difficult. I did not take a single picture because I personally did not see anything worth photographing. I don’t think every day needs to be magical, but today, with the constant attack of vehicle noises and the absolute boredom of the path, was pretty bad.
Due to various leg pains, two of my companions decided that they were going to do a shorter day, so they stayed behind. It was one pm, and the other gentleman and I had 14 miles left. With the exception of a Coca Cola break in a random town, we didn’t stop until we reached the albergue municipal in Sahagún, where I realized I’d drank about a cup of water and eating nothing but mini cakes all day. I cursed the boring-ass terrain for not providing anything worth stopping for. My face was throbbing, my hands were shaking, and I needed fucking Gatorade. Luckily, Spain has Aquarius, which is pretty much the same.