Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 18 - Fuenterobles de Salvatierra to Morille

I watched with one eye open and one closed as people left. As always, last to leave. I cannot imagine a bunch of people up at the same time trying to use the bathroom. I feel so much more at ease when I go slow. The regulars, ie (hot guy) Father Blas and the other hospitaleros were still asleep, probably tired from walking all night in the moonlight. Only one was awake, and I saw him in the checking-in room working with his leather, making the necessary gear for the donkeys. It is a gentle and dedicated work, making sure the animals are well equipped. I said good-bye and walked out. I was quickly in the countryside, very cool morning, but bright and clear. I was out on a prairie, or the Via's version of the Meseta from the Camino Frances, and at one moment I was in the middle of it, just barely making out the snowy hills behind me and those yet to come in front of me, far in both horizons.

It was my intention to walk to Pedrosillo. Arturo wanted to get to San Pedro. The German girls were going there as well. I would walk along and could make out a figure up ahead, resting under a tree. It was Arturo, who walks slow and steady. I walk quicker and catch up with him, we chat and start walking again. He is like the tortoise, slow and steady, I like the hare, quick and tire quicker. I stop and he catches up. We did this for a while. What was fun is walking away from him and I could hear him singing. I would sing quietly the same song as he. Jack the Knife, old Spanish songs my mom used to sing, songs I remember hearing in the '50s from my brothers' turntables. He knew sooo many songs. I would stop and rest and I could then hear him coming. It was reassuring.... I had a companion and he was alright. I finally reached trees and a curious scene... different markers of the Via, a cross and a teepee made from branches. It was the beginning of a little forest, giving respite from the sun. Another cross there, and I remember JohnnieWalker mentioning the series of crosses and knew I was in that scene he had created for me in the email. I enjoy moments like these, where something I had heard about appears on the scene. That was special in my first camino, the Frances. And the one that stands out in my mind was that trek out of Pamplona and up that mountain to the top and there appeared all the iron sculptures I had seen over and over in photos. I cried. So here I was seeing the series of crosses and had one of those sweet moments. I did not cry though. I went inside the teepee and sat a while, wondering who had made it, and how many people had used it possibly? I imagined or possibly I really felt the energy of the place. Very special. I reached (what I thought was...) the top of the hill, to see that cross, that somehow did not seem as special as I had imagined. The view from there was high up there and seeing the valleys below, so far below.
Luckily a nice clear day. I sat under some trees, layed out my sarong, took off my shoes, lit some incense and sat there. I heard that singing again and Arturo came. I told him to rest a bit and he likewise took off his shoes. I offered oranges and he accepted. I like these rests. What I really enjoy is that I am not in a rush to get anywhere. No need, really, for the next albergue will be there for me whether I arrive at noon or 6pm. He talked me into going to San Pedro. The girls would be there as well. We walked downhill, winding around those hills, through beautiful country and we came to a gate. The sign seemed unclear to us. It had two arrows pointing straight ahead, one of them straight (to Pedrosillo) with one of them pointing ahead and to the left (to San Pedro). The guide was not clear either of the directions to take. Fast forward... it was wrong. Apparently we were supposed to turn left right there and then through the trees, but it did not make sense for we could not see a clear path. Well, of course we thought we were going in the correct direction. Through some gates we went. I went ahead for a while and when I came to the end of that trail, one had to go either left or right. No sign there. I waited for Arturo and we decided it had to be to the left. We kept walking. I was sooo hot and dehydrated. Ran out of water and just had to stay under what little shade I could find just to cool off a bit. I felt a headache, not a good sign. Definite dehydration. I was sitting in the ditch. The fencing would not allow me to go deeper into the woods, and it was the only spot with shade. I saw the town up ahead and decided to rest a while. Arturo caught up and we went on together. Cute cute town. I walked way ahead and the first bar I saw I went in. It had a lovely courtyard and there were many laborers taking their lunch break. There was even a large pool out back, still closed for the season. I drank and drank until satisfied and sat at a table outside until Arturo showed up. Guess where we are? Pedrosillo!! The woman owner told us this and I jsut laughed. I guess I came to where I had wanted to in the first place! She offered the day's menu... Arturo had pork jaw in some kind of delicious sauce, I had beef tongue in an exquisite tomato based sauce. Veggies, a huge salad,bread, wine and a delicious creamy dessert....10 euros. We sat under that tree, with my toes caressing that soft green grass, the breeze so cooling, and I was happy. Already I had forgotten how dry and tired I had just felt. Renewed!! So where is the albergue? I am home!!
Mari told us not to stay in this town, that the albergue is terrible and that we should move on to Morille. What??? That is another 12 kilometers! I was not convinced... until the two of them did the concincing for me. I never did see the albergue to get a clear picture of it myself, but when she told me there is no warm water for the showers, I felt I could move on. I hate cold water!! That walk to Morille took forever. Only 12 kilometers? For real? I think it was longer. We stayed together this time. Interminable!! Road walking!! Hot hot hot!! At least we had water. My feet hurt, alot! I had to stop frequently to rest. Damn it!! I should have stayed and skipped the shower. Each time we came around the bend.... another bend.... and another. Finally, at 9pm we arrived in Morille. 9PM!!! It was a cute village, with children and their parents playing in the dusty streets. The key was at the bar.... the only place to eat... but not tonight. No food!!!!! Ahhh, I had enough in my pack for the 2 of us. It was a mish-mash dinner of odds and ends but it was dinner. The albergue was tiny, 3 bunk beds, one small bathroom, Donativo. HOT water!! I was sore enough to take some Ibuprofen. First time ever. WOW,that bed felt wonderful! TOTAL 30 Kms.

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