Day 16 – Itero de la Vega to Carrion de Los Condes – 34.7km

Only myself and Gus in this Refugio last night so a good sleep. This really was a ” one horse ” village and we woke to the sound of several cocks crowing. Gus asked me to have a look at some red , itchy skin lesions on his arm. They looked very much like a group of insect bites and alarm bells rang immediately. It is well known on The Camino that one or two of the Refugios have had a problem with bed bugs and news of these travels fast , so that they can be avoided. Gus told me he’d first noticed them the previous day so it doesn’t look like he got them in Itera. I hope for his sake they are just insect bites he got whilst walking , otherwise it means half a day hot washing every bit of kit , including your rucksack. Not surprisingly I spent the rest of the day noticing every little itch and fearing the worst. I’ve moaned about snorers and lack of sleep but getting bed bugs in my kit would take things to a different level altogether.

Gus and I walked together for the morning until we reached Fromista. It turned out Gus was in the Irish Army and had spent quite a bit of time acting as a UN peacekeeper in both Lebanon and Kosovo. As you can imagine he had some interesting stories to tell. Just before reaching Fromista we came across one of the trio of Austrian lads. He had hooked up with a young German couple who were camping and had offered him their hammock for the night. It sounded like they’d had a bit of a ” moment” last night , which had involved long periods looking at the stars and Milky Way and other things. The German couple had a dog named ” Ginger ” with them. Ginger had a deformed front leg so they were pulling her all the way to Santiago in a little buggy ( see photo ).Gus and I parted at Fromista as I had a leisurely lunch and took advantage of the Wi-Fi in the bar to update the blog.

After lunch I walked alone through mile after mile of fields of wheat stubble. Several people have said to me that the first third of The Camino is about the body , the second third about the mind and the last third about the spirit. If my trance-like state whilst walking today is anything to go by then I guess I’m certainly in the ” mind ” phase now.
Whilst I was ” in the zone ” I pushed on , reaching Carrion de Los Condos at 7.00pm , my longest day of walking so far at nearly 35k. I got one of the last available bunks at the Albergue Santa Maria , which is run by Benedictine Nuns. There was a very welcoming atmosphere on arrival. The Nuns had just been singing and now a couple of the Pilgrims were playing guitar in the reception area. For the first time on my Camino the sexes were separated into different dorms , even the married couples. A feature of the Refugio experience on the Camino so far has been the fact that there is no room for prudishness as everyone , young and old of both sexes , has been thrown together in very close proximity for sleeping , washing , showering and toileting. Self consciousness quickly evaporates after a few days.

I shared my room with a Korean lad and two Germans. There are quite a few Koreans on the Camino and I was curious to find out why this should be the case. He said that less than 20% of Koreans were Christian and that whilst some did the Camino for spiritual reasons others became interested because The Camino had featured in films and a “very famous cartoon”. This Korean made cartoon was named ” Viva Santiago ” and was the reason he himself was walking The Camino. Figure that one out .

Ginger’s buggy

German couple and ” Ginger “
11th Century Iglesia de San Martin , Fromista , said to be one of the finest examples of Romanesque in Spain

Templar church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca ( 13th Century ) at Villalcazae de Sirga ( sadly shut when I arrived in the village )
Main door Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca

Approaching Carrion de los Condes
Fountain Carrion de los Condes
Statue Carrion de los Condes
Albergue Santa Maria , Carrion de los Condes , run by Benedictine Nuns

4 thoughts on “Day 16 – Itero de la Vega to Carrion de Los Condes – 34.7km

  1. Danny,
    I’ve been following you’re adventure. You write a very colorful and humorous blog! Carl and I watched “The Way” several weeks ago, so can picture your pilgrimage a bit better.
    I hope to hell your friend doesn’t have bed bugs…a huge fear of mine when traveling. (I check every bit of a room before bringing bags in). That definitely would “take things to a different level”!
    Reading your blogs makes me wish I was able to do the Camino. But not at this point in my life, unfortunately!
    I’ll continue enjoying your daily blogs and reading them to Carl.
    “Night-night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite” 😀

    1. Hi Adrienne and glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. I seemed to have escaped the bed bugs so far but I fear poor old Gus has them. You’ll know from reading the blog that many people do short sections of The Camino only. The first week or so ( as far as Estella ) is certainly a beautiful bit and you could always stay in hotels and avoid all the snorers : ) .

  2. Hi Danny
    Very impressed that you have got this far. Looks like half way at least. We have enjoyed the blog tremendously, particularly the news reports from Aclare! Obviously I haven’t shared those with the children at school but I have shared your journey and the story of St James. ‘Is he still going?’ is often the reply.
    All well here – it’s actually stopped raining this week so we’ve had some long awaited bright Autumn days.
    Kids are great and the dog mental. Good it’s not the other way round.
    Looking forward to more funny stories for the last leg of your Camino.
    Fiona, Martin, James, Kat and Claire.

    1. Thanks Fiona , I can’t believe I’m still going either ! Glad you’re all enjoying the blog. I’m trying to put some historical bits in for interest. Good to hear that the weather has picked up too. X

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