Day 14 : Carrion de los Condes to Moratinos

Steve : Way back in Zubiri we saw a poster called ‘The Vegetarian Way’. On it was Alburgue San Bruno, in Moratinos. This would be an extra 3km beyond the Brierley recommended stop at Terradillos de los Templarios, but we were craving something other than cheese rolls for our sustenance. Thus, a 30km walk awaits.

Jen wakes up extremely grumpy. Years of experience tells me that this is not a Good Thing but there’s nothing anyone, particularly me, can do about it. We are up at 5am and make a decent breakfast of scrambled eggs and fruit bought from the lovely air conditioned supermarket the night before.

Off we go…

5am in the alburgue

Pilgrim monument as we leave the town

Off we go, approaching the 17km stretch of nothing before the tiny village of Calzadilla de la Cueza. We’d been warned to make sure we had enough water and energy bars.

I rather liked the nothing. I put on my headphones and worked my way through Paul Simon and the Afro-Celts. I was flying along. We made good progress before the sun came up.

A dark an ominous sky was to our right, to the north. We hoped it would stay there…

It’s hard to convey the scale of this place. It’s big and flat and nothing.

About half way through the 17km was a rest stop.  Some wit had added this graffiti to the sign.

Oh, that it were so…

Her Grumpiness was bringing up the rear. We made it to a cafe in Calzadilla. There’s a dip in the plain. You’re walking, walking, walking and then out of nowhere appears the town.

A spinach and potato tortilla at 9am was most welcome.

Then the heat starts and the trudge begins. Through Ledigos…

…where J hops in a taxi to accompany a Canadian girl who has ground to a halt with very bad blisters. The idea was to take the taxi to the albergue at Terradillos, and J would wait for us there. Our Canadian friend decided to go to Sahagun, another 10k or so, so Jen exited at Terradillos and waited for H and me.

All road signs on the Camino are heavily ‘edited’

More Coke and apple pie and we were on our way on the final 3k to a veggie albergue in Moratinos.

Interesting house in Moratinos

We stagger in to San Bruno around 1pm, hot and bothered. The Italian couple who run the place are lovely and within an hour we’d done the washing of us and our clothes and we spent the rest of the day lounging around with our feet in a cold-water pool.

Spare sunlight being used to charge a phone

I had some big blisters so Jen did surgery and got to inflict pain on her father which improved her mood considerably.

The only other residents were a French Canadian couple who had walked from Montpellier and were setting a storming pace of 30-40k per day. Dinner was served at 7pm. Tagliatelle pesto, done properly, and a big salad. Good conversation, swapping traveller’s tales and comparing notes.

Early to bed, us three were the only inhabitants of our 18 bed room. A good day. Even Jen cheered up…

Day 14 : Stats

Carrion de los Condes to Moratinos

Steps 41,093

Distance covered, according to Brierley

  • 30.0 km direct, 30.3 km actual walking
  • 377.4 km to go

Other Fitbit stats

  • 36.98 km walked (based on 0.9m stride length)
  • 405 ‘active’ minutes
  • 4,647 cals burned

Flatlands soundtrack

For the long 17km section today we had….

Paul Simon

  • Hearts and Bones
  • Surprise
  • So Beautiful or So What
  • Stranger to Stranger

The Afro-Celt Sound System

  • Seed
  • The Source

Paul Simon is a genius.

My sister got the ‘Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits’ album when I was around 12. It was the first time I’d heard music that was about something. Music that was, if you like, more than just tunes.

I fell in love with New York vicariously. In my dreams I’d go to New York and it would look like the red sandstone tenements of Glasgow (the only big city I knew) with some steel and glass towers in it. Later on I watched the 70’s New York movies like Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon. All fantastically sleazy and beautiful at the same time.

Paul Simon’s songs, like The Boxer and America were a fundamental part of my teenage years. They can still reduce me to tears in seconds.

And his new(er) stuff is pretty good too…