Walk 28.7 km, 6 hours 54 minutes
Ascent: 220 meters
Descend: 180 meters
Kilometers to be traveled: 367.5
Saturday, the start of the fourth week of my walk to a town in the north-west of Spain. Time flies by, even the nights when you can’t sleep well. If you walk every day, you also expect that due to the effort you can sleep well, unfortunately for me a lasting illusion. But I also have to admit that I don’t get tired, I don’t feel a slump and I only physically go forward.
Also this Saturday I woke up again for the alarm to ring on my watch, but still don’t get up when it goes off and is switched off. Just stay “nice”. I am not going to describe the usual morning ritual for now, it will otherwise become a monotonous and repetitive story. After an improvised breakfast from the backpack, the hiking day starts.
If we continue to keep Rother as a guideline, only a short distance can be covered today, 14 kilometers to Sahagun. How’s the weather? That’s another surprise because my 2 weather apps on my smart phone contradict each other. So we will be faced with a surprise if it is not going to be either and snow falls from the sky.
It is a nice trip, out of the village and with the morning freshness, it is also dry by the way. The dawn shows itself again and we walk on a path between the fields. In the first village that we encounter, or better written which is on our path, we take a short coffee break and take a look at the homes of the Hobbits. Yes the Hobbits are not only in New Zealand but also here. They are actually Bodegas, but they look like the houses in the movies.
The route is going well and Sahagun is reached well before noon. The 3 musketeers have to look for a pharmacy because the senior needs a bandage. The first pharmacy is not properly connected and the 2nd pharmacy is not yet open. Fortunately there is a cafe nearby where we can catch a breath. After the break and the visit to the pharmacy we continue, because 14 kilometers is no distance to cover.
This place also has a stadium where bulls are “fought”. In the streets that lead to the arena there are fences on both sides of the street, in front of the bull runs. But we do not stay to see it and go on, the weather is good and the road is… .. Well how is the road? I think we are a few days early for the bull run.
After Sahagun you can choose from 2 routes, in Rother that is the 18a and 18b variant. The B variant is the Real Camino, the Royal French route. This is on fairly monotonous paths through 2 villages to Reliegos.
We had previously decided to run the a-variant. This goes over paths and runs through an area that is referred to as an African steppe. It should be a beautiful area, not far from Sahagun. And after the steppe and a village you will walk on Via Trajana. But first back to the order of the day.
On the way to the African steppe we walk a bit wrong and we make a few extra hundreds of meters, but that’s not so bad. Other pilgrims look a little surprised when the three of them walk the other way. Would they know that there is an alternative route? When leaving Sahagun there was a large sign on which it was indicated. Both routes are approximately the same in length.
The African steppe is indeed a beautiful area, we only meet 1 person. I suspect that he is also a pilgrim, it is a walker with a medium-sized backpack who is walking in the opposite direction. Maybe on the way home because he has already been to SdC? I will never know unless he reads this story, remembers me and leaves a message.
The paths are red in color, the gaze is wide and far and it warms up nicely. I mean the temperature, the sun comes out well and the shadow is hard to find. A small feeling how it could be in a month when the summer is in full swing. But now it’s not too bad.
Finishing the trip to Reliegos was not our intention, but it was an overnight stay when the African steppe was conquered. In Calzadilla de los Hermanillos we will stop for an overnight stay, in the local municipal alberge. This is typically such an alberge that may no longer meet the requirements in the next Holy Year of Saint Jacques. But for now you can experience nostalgia.
The kitchen and showers are severely outdated and need a renovation, but who will do that? The volunteers are no longer the youngest and the price for an overnight stay is based on a donation level. You can buy some supplies in a shop next to the alberge, which we also do. We eat in a pension with a restaurant. The only option to “eat out” In the evening, spaghetti is cooked in the kitchen. This night there are 15 pilgrims present. The beds are a bit on the short side, but a bit wider than usual.
Despite the age of the building and the entire entourage, the stay is not bad. The beds are not too hard or too soft, but a bit too tight. That is another advantage if you sleep upstairs, you are stuck between head and foot and therefore cannot fall out of bed.
Accommodation: Albergue de Peregrinos