Day 19 – Sahagun to Reliegos – 31.2km

A really good sleep as I had paid a bit more ( 20 euros ) for a single room at the Benedictine Convent Albergue in Sahagun. Most of the Albergues/Refugios don’t have this option but I was grateful to escape the snorers , at least for a night. A Pilgrim will pay anything from 4 to 10 euros a night to stay at one of the Refugios , unless it is a ” Donativo ” when you just make a donation in the box when you leave. These tend to be the smaller Parish Refugios which are usually fairly basic but often have a communal meal , such as the one I stayed at in Viana . Most of the Refugios will have a kitchen so you can prepare your own food or you can take the option of ” The Pilgrims Menu ” which is available in most of the bars/restaurants in town or indeed in some of The Refugios. For around 10 or 11 euros you’ll get three courses and a half carafe of wine. The standard can vary but I’ve had some very good meals for this very reasonable cost. Some of the young student Pilgrims are budgeting around 10 euros a day by cooking for themselves and staying in the cheaper or Donativo Refugios. I’m spending around 25 euros a day ( if you ignore the couple of hotel nights I’ve had ) so that gives an idea of costs.

I walked this morning with Forrest and a couple from Nashville , Tennessee. Forrest is a big bear of a man from Oregon and we seemed to get on very well since we first met and shared a glass or two of Rioja about a week ago. I think we’ll share a few more before Santiago. We walked 14km in the morning and Forrest decided to call it quits after lunch. I pressed on and soon came upon the start of the ” Calzada Romana” . This is classified as the most perfect stretch of Roman road left in Spain today. There was absolutely nothing on this road for 14km so I had total solitude and just the sound of my own footsteps and the occasional bird call. I met Servan and Edith from Nantes having a picnic at the start of the road ( see photo ) and they were the only Pilgrims I saw on this section .There is an alternative roadside route for The Camino at this point and I guess most had taken that to avoid the lack of facilities on the Roman road . Whilst walking today I thought of the many millions of Pilgrims from all over Europe who had walked this very same stretch of road over the centuries and endured so many hardships along the way. They didn’t have the luxury of German made walking boots , showers , Rioja and the ” menu de Peregrinos “. They had also to walk all the way home again after reaching Santiago. And here’s me moaning about snorers. I’m such a wuss.

All in all this was a blissful day’s walking and I reached Reliegos around 5.00pm , downing a well earned beer in the only bar in the village. There was a national Spanish holiday today so the bar was full of guys playing a card game which must be peculiar to Spain as I didn’t recognise either the cards or the rules of the game.

I had a very enjoyable dinner with Servan and Edith who were highly recommending that I walk the 10 day section of The Camino in France from Le Puy to Conques . They say it is exceptionally beautiful and that , in their opinion , the standard of accomodation and food on the French sections of The Camino are a bit higher than here in Spain , though it’s a little more expensive. That is definitely one for the future.

Forrest on road from Sahagun

Group of Aussies having a rest
Arrival at Calzadilla

Montes de Leon in background
A very long stretch of Roman road , the “Romana Calzada”

Servan and Edith from Nantes

Approaching Reliegos , note ” Hobbit ” houses in foreground

Locals playing cards in bar in Reliegos

3 thoughts on “Day 19 – Sahagun to Reliegos – 31.2km

  1. Like I said, your piccies are great. What about the one with an arid brown plain and blue mountains in the background? Are they a distant view of the Picos de Europa or what, surely not Los Montes de Leon which are less spectacular? Well, if the latter you’ll soon know them more initimately, if I dare use such a phrase when you’re traversing such sacred ground and following in such splendid company as millions of cut-purses, pimps, prostitutes, murderers, run-away wives . . . and husbands – and Templar Knights. Are things any different these days?
    As the Great Buddha said with his dying breath . . . ‘Walk on’ (forget all that guff about ‘with hope in your heart’) and why not be a Nike sport and ‘Just Do It’.

    Thinking ahead to the nearer future, its mebbe time to be contemplating the prospect of spending time in another land of The Celts, Galicia, and dusting off your gaitas, no, not gaiters, bagpipes. Make sure you gate crash a party of some kind, the Galicians rival the West Coasters of Ireland for such events, but its apple brandy and San Miguel, no Guiness on view. When in Galicia grab a few shots of a variety of ‘horreos’ and the locals, great physiognamy, whatever that is.

    Cold here today and on Pennington Flash – 6 degrees Celsius, a cold front went through about 14.30 and the hail was 4mm, brhhh. Time to be airing the thermals. Make the most of the heat left on The Meseta for the mountains ahead will take you to 5000ft at El Cruz de Ferro. Pray for sun when crossing them but do stay a while in the cozy bar in the hamlet of El Acebo at a mere 3000ft . . . but that’s a few days ahead yet. Are the feet still okay? Meanwhile ‘Vaya con Dios’ and trust in the skill of ‘el zapatero Aleman’.

    Yoda (its what the kids call me at The Flash!)

    1. Feet are still ok thanks Michael. Just got a bit of tendonitis in my right leg over the last 24 hours so now on the ibuprofen. I assumed the Mountain range was the Montes de Leon , which I will be crossing in a few days. Much cooler today so those mountains are going to be cold.

  2. Ged , I saw ” The Border Collies ” playing a few years ago in one of the pubs in Aclare ( Langs ? ) and actually have a CD they made. You’re in for a great weekend.
    PS I know a good detox unit if you need a recommendation.

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