Camino de Santiago Day Eighteen: Fromista to Carrion de Condes Faith

17 04 2018

Despite the initial stench of the room at the municipal the air cleared and we were able to get a restful sleep. I was terrified to get down from the bunk in the morning with wobbly legs but did ok and we went next door to the Bar San Martin for a quick breakfast. We were excited to hit the road a little earlier and to see our long shadows leading us along.

I have to say my foot and right toe hurt quite a bit. It seemed like it was just not right in the shoe no matter what I did. Incredibly though once I’d take about 30 steps I could tune it out and ignore it but if I stopped at all it hurt again. Luckily there was really no where to stop. We passed by a new Albergue that we think would have been a good stop maybe instead of the municipal.

The path started along the highway then gave us an option for an alternate route alongside farmland which was pretty, but no towns save Villavieco and it’s abandoned playground and bar.

An old man pulled up to us in his car to give us candy in Villamentero. We stopped after about three and a half hours in Villacazar de Sirga for a rest.

We set out again for Carrion Des Condes and happened upon a woman from Germany we had yet to see. Quickly our paces all matched and the next stretch all the way to the town went so fast! She’d stayed there before as in this very stretch had an injury that was almost insurmountable requiring her to stay here for four days to heal at the Albergue run by the Hijas de San Vincente de Paul, nuns. It was of course where Suzy and I had already sent her bag. We had such a great and emotional talk and are so glad to have made a connection with someone who has so much spirit! Her name is Jessie. It’s funny because we were just asking for some more stories of why people were here more inspiration… we’d found some people maybe weren’t ready to share and others didn’t know, so it felt like we were meant to connect at just that moment.

The nuns checked us in, the first we met was named Guadalupe she told me when I showed her the Virgen de Guadalupe necklace in my pouch. We were presented with a Virgin Mary pendant and the cost to stay is 5 Euros! That place is airy and bright and spotless although they’re doing a lot of construction outside. All the beds are on one level if the high ceilinged rooms, formerly a girl’s school. I showered and dealt with some more toe surgery… seems like my nail is raised and split and causing the problems. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ve cut off enough nail and skin to fix it.

We all settled in and then set out to get some food, I’d really been craving Gambas a La Plancha and of course the universe provides and we found an amazing place with Gambones and Langoustinas, bothbtranslated on the menu as “prawns”…so we got both although surprisingly the Langoustinas were the smaller ones. They were a bit more salty and the Gambones a bit sweeter and more meaty. Both delicious! Then onto the well equipped grocery in town to stock up on snacks. We were warned that this next stretch has absolutely nothing (no water, food, facilities) for 17.2 miles.

A group of us decided to go to mass, only to find that there are at least five churches in the town. We got directions from another church worker and headed up through the town. I’m the only one of this group to really speak Spanish but at times it seems like more than that… I honestly feel like I’ve been in these towns before. I never feel lost.

We made it there not too far into the mass and as soon as it was done lights were put out and the pastor immediately departed. We wondered about the etiquette again, Jessie went right after the pastor to ask if we could receive a special pilgrim blessing. For some reason it made me cry when the father blessed us.

Back at the Albergue we gathered our clothes that had been drying on the line and set out our fun foods on the table for our snacking pilgrim feast. Everyone shared and other pilgrims even gave us extra wine they didn’t need. Friedrich and Sina are staying here too which is nice. There’s also a girl stuck here now two days so far with shin splints. This seems to be a good place to be “stuck” though.

At 10 they locked us in and at 10:15 the nuns came and put us to bed shutting out the lights. I feel like a Spanish version of Madeleine here in these rows of beds with the nuns caring for us so sweetly.

“Good night little girls! Thank the Lord you are well, now go to sleep.” Said Miss Clavel.

-Ludwig Bemelmans

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One response

18 04 2018
Beth Callahan

You stayed at Espiritu Santo! The nuns were so kind there, and it was a relief to be in an all-female dorm and in non-bunks. In fact, I can see the bed I slept in from your picture. I love that picture of happy peregrinas and the Madeleine reference. Happy continuation.. I cry too during pilgrim blessings!

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