05 June Granon to Villambistia

After posting last evening’s message and before dinner I took a little walk around town, mainly to keep my foot moving which has become a little more painful since I sat down for a while.

I’m glad I took this little walk because I saw this.
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Then I saw a fantastic way to use old mill wheels in a public seating area.
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Then I shop and meet up with some family and for the second time we find out someone has just died in a town we have just entered. Now, I know it’s not my fault people are dying, but,,,,,, but,,,,,, but,,,,,, but,,,,,,, but, it’s a bit of a coincidence people are dying where Dieuwke goes. I will make sure there are witnesses available if there is a next time I walk with, near, in the vicinity of or even in the same country as her. 🙂

I see this. It’s the way out of town tomorrow and the signpost in the bottom left corner says Santiago de Compostela 555 kilometres.
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In this photo, from left to right you can see Sandra (mother) and Christopher (son), two nice people from South Africa who started walking from Bordeaux about 4 weeks ago. Next to them are Chase and Kevin (two of the three Pennsylvanian Picknickers), then we have Swedish Annika, and half hidden you can just about make out Liz the third of the Pennsylvanian Picknickers. Last on the right is Dieuwke. I wonder if she may be casting a spell on her next victim :-0.
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Dinner last night is something I believe will stay with me forever. It was the first communal dinner of my Camino and the way it was prepared for, eaten and then cleared away was a pleasure to be part of at the end of a chilly wet day.

We all helped prepare the food and the room for the meal. Some people worked together to help prepare the meal.
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Others worked on their own doing the same thing.
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Everyone was working toward the same end.
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Meanwhile this girl………
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……… painted this……
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…and Christopher played for us……
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….and a Japanese woman smiled as she listened to Christopher teasing his quiet tune from the instrument…….
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….. then 2 Italians sang as 2 Australians listened to them……
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…… whilst others played cards……
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….. then 40 people……
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……representing 14 different nationalities shared a simple meal of salad, lentils, rice and a small pudding.
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After dinner there was a pilgrim service. I didn’t attend and listened closely later as the service was partly described to me. It sounds as though it wasn’t the type of service I envisioned.

My bed wasn’t a bed! If you habitually use an exercise mat or can recall using them at school you can probably identify with me if I say – remove the sponge from inside the mat, put some fresh air in to replace the sponge then lay on it atop a hard floor and try to sleep. End result? I didn’t sleep well, although I did get some cat naps. Mostly though, I lay staring into the darkness listening to the nightmarish night sounds of too many over-tired people racing each other to their individual land of dreams. Never, in the history of walking has any Scotsman been so happy to see dawn’s early light creep into a room.

Poor Ethan (the small boy travelling with his mother) had a dreadful night. He was throwing up all night. We’ve left them both behind. We are later told by Maria that Alana and Ethan will go ahead by bus to Burgos so that Ethan can rest and recover. We expect to reach Burgos in 2 days.

We are on the road at 6:40 a line of multi-coloured thread being sown into the slowly lightening surroundings. We have goosebumps on our skin, our hands are cold and the still low sun is throwing long shadows across the path, over the fields and towards the woods like long dark fingers.

Shortly after we leave Granon, those of us still close enough to the town hear the church bells ring out 7 o’clock. That means the cafe will now be opening, but we are not for turning back. Later on today, two of us will be walking slightly behind a guy who has just overtaken us shortly after leaving a rest stop. He will pull up with a start, having remembered he has just left his walking stick about 500 metres behind us and is reluctant to go back for them. When we thought of it, or at least when Dieuwke voiced her thoughts we realised how crazy our decision not to turn back this morning could be viewed – here we are voluntarily walking in the region of at least 800 kilometres and we won’t back-track for 5 minutes to get something we might benefit from. Are we all going mad out here?

The early part of today’s walking is through rolling green fields tainted orange. There’s a fleeting terracotta look to all non-vegetative objects as the sun passes through that last low angle before shining brightly. With pilgrims to the front, to the rear and alongside us, most of us quickly find our pace for this type of terrain.

A little later I notice for the first time since I started that I’m actually closing the gap on someone aheAd of me who hasn’t actually stopped to wait for me to catch up with them, or who is taking a rest or who is sleeping. Maybe I’m improving with age? About 10 mins later I catch up with him and am dismayed to find that it wasn’t me who had improved, it was the poor guy’s knee that had given up it’s fight. I mentally run through my personal body check, all seems ok, even my right foot hasn’t gotten any worse.

We cross from the La Rioja region into Castilla y Leon.
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Breakfast is found and a croissant and cafe con leche are consumed to a cd of Lorena MacArney singing suitable music for my mood.

I found the balance of the trees, the two bells and the shape of structure quite attractive to look at. See what you think.
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As our line of pilgrims becomes more extended and the scenery changes from mainly pine to deciduous trees I notice the light has played out an optical illusion with a rock formation (no photo I’m afraid). I see a large genial face looking down onto the path as if counting us safely through.

Think back to when you were a young child at school. Did you ever paint a countryside scene with a blue sky, puffball white clouds, dabs of green and brown for trees and a mixture of greens for the grass and hills. If you do remember, or you have such a scene made by your beloved children or grandchildren hanging on your fridge or some wall at home, then I invite you to gaze upon that child-like image again.
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We have not one but two toe wiggles. One here……
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…… and one here
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We pass through a place called Belorado. It is drowning in a sea of history.
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Storks nests cling to impossible ledges and have been built higher and higher with each passing brood of chicks.
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And now a play on words….. I saw the original bottle plant location today.
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It ended up being a long hot day and we are glad to stop here for the night.

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I found three new people to call friends in my room. Jose and Maria from Australia and Martin from Denmark.
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Steps so far today 31090

Bye for now

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