Day 22: Terradillos de Templarios to Sahagún, 3.3km (9.8km by car)

05.08.2010

This morning I walked to Moratinos to meet with Rebekah from the Camino forum.  I arrived in Moratinos shortly after 9a and found her house without difficulty.  She greeted me warmly and offered me some cafe con leche and a sweet little snack.  We chatted for a bit and then Paddy, her husband, returned from walking the dogs.

It was so good to finally meet Rebekah.  Many of my friends back home think I am a little bit crazy for meeting up with people I have met online.  I have met some of the most amazing people from the online communities I am a part of.  Rebekah was no different.  It was nice to talk to someone familiar with the Camino and all that it entails.  She was going to Sahagún to run errands and offered me a ride, which I gladly accepted.

It took five minutes to drive what would have taken me almost two hours to walk!  We parked close to the Albergue and I walked with her as she shopped.  She also helped me in the pharmacy to find some silicone insoles for my shoes.  They seem to be helping.  The true test will be a full day of walking with my pack on.

Once we finished shopping, we went back to the car and I collected my bag and went to check into the Albergue.  I seemed to be the only female at first, but later more women showed up.  It was weird.  I went out to explore the city and buy food for the next day or so since it's Saturday and who knows what will be open tomorrow.

I ended up at San Lorenzo, a church I thought was open.  It turned out there was a little "museum" attached to the church displaying these huge scenes from the Stations of the Cross, which are carried through the town during Holy Week every year.  There was an elderly man there and he tried to explain to me what I was looking at.  I understood most of it, but probably missed a lot too!  It was quite interesting.  He even took me into the church, which was being repaired.  Many of the buildings in this part of Spain are made with adobe and it doesn't hold up well over time.  The church is in a similar situation from what I understand and no one is in a hurry to fix it.

While I was wandering to the next church (I was on a walking tour of the town churches from the guidebook), I came across a peregrina who I thought was Korean but was actually American!  On the Camino you start "judging" people by their packs and clothes.  The Spaniards tend to have all Quechua gear, the Germans have Jack Wolfskin, the Americans are sporting Osprey packs and so on.  It's kind of funny because even though it's stereotyping, it's true about 90% of the time!  The poor Koreans usually get called Chinese, Japanese and every other asian country you can think of.  As I've said before, there are quite a few Koreans on the Camino, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to think this girl was Korean.  Anyhow, she was from Texas and was looking for a Correo to mail a few things home.  I am getting quite good at navigating the Spanish postal system, so I offered to help her find it.  We asked a man on the street where it was and he gave us directions so we went to find it.  She shipped her things home without a problem and continued on the Camino.  I am horrible with names, but if you are reading this, please let me know your name!  She was very nice and hopefully our paths will cross again.  One never knows with the Camino!

I went grocery shopping after that, trying to get done before afternoon siesta.  Back at the Albergue I made myself some lunch and met a French-Canadian guy from Montreál and a Mexican guy from Chihuahua.  We had a nice conversation while eating.  I took a nap, then went out for a cafe con leche.  Going to a bar, sipping on a cafe con leche and writing in my journal is becoming a part of my daily routine.  I look forward to it.  I enjoy having an hour or so to reflect on the day and write about it.

While at the bar, I was journaling, sipping my cafe con leche, people-watching and enjoying the space.  This bar is just down the street from the Municipal Albergue on the Camino.  I wish I could remember the name because the people are so nice.  They had great coffee, tasty pastries and were very welcoming to peregrinos.

I had my guidebook and journal out and an older gentleman saw it and asked if I spoke English.  I said, "Yes!  Come on over and sit down."  His name was Stan and he is an ER doc from Huntington Beach, CA.  Small world!  Turns out he has a friend who is a Peds ER doc at St. Vincent's Hospital in Portland (we think that's where he works, I have his name to look up when I get home).  We chatted quite a bit.  It's always good to converse in English every once in a while.  It's even better to be able to read a book or magazine in English!  Rebekah was kind enough to give me a New Yorker Magazine which I have been enjoying quite a bit.

Stan left and I noticed the ladies next to me had a Confraternity of St. James Camino Frances Guide from the UK.  I asked if they were English and they said "Yes!  Where are you from?".  I chatted with them for a bit.  They were two sisters traveling together from the Manchester area of England.  One of them had been doing the Camino in stages for the past TEN YEARS!  Talk about dedication.

I decided against eating out for dinner and made my way back to the Albergue to make dinner.  I also found out the train schedule to León for tomorrow.  It doesn't leave until 1403, which means I have plenty of time to find a church tomorrow morning to go to Mass!  Yay!

After dinner, I read a bit, then off to sleepy time with ear plugs firmly planted in ears.