The next day I walked to Ledigos. This is a notoriously long straight flat and boring stretch. There is 17km before the first village, Calzadilla. Just outside of Carrion there was a guy with a horse and cart. The cart had seats and the guy was touting for pilgrims to ride. I declined, not wanting my Camino de Santiago to become a Paseo de Santiago, That’s not the same thing at all. Oh no, not for me it isn’t. Later the cart passed me with more than a dozen passengers. At 15 Euros a pop. That’s €180 a trip. Two trips a day nets €2520 a week. Just a little bit more than a High Court Judge. So, law school students, have a little think about that.
The Kid Reed and Noah joined me for a mile or two but fuelled by burgeoning love they were moving too fast for me. I cut ’em loose.
A farmer had made a little compound in his field by the side of the track. Three or four tables were set up and a few pilgrims were having breakfast. He had a grill going. Thin steaks and bread. And coffee. Smelt great. He put two steaks in my baguette, winked and smiled. Good job he put two in there, because, as I sat down, one of them fell out onto the dusty ground. Never mind, one was enough, and I made a friend of a mongrel whose fastidiousness about food hygiene was about the same as an Afghani street-food vendor. Non-existent.
Nothing else happened. Ho hum. Told you this stretch was boring.
I eventually rocked up at Calzadilla de la Cuerza. There is a splendid private albergue there. It has a pool. And it sells beer. I got one and before I got my change my glass was empty. I got another and took a seat in the Garden. Got chatting to Moraid, an Irish girl who was a big noise in Irish tourism, taking a sabbatical to walk the Camino. She was well informed in all aspects of travel, funny, and just a good egg. Good craic. So I got some more beer.
We walked together, chatting, to Ledigos. Earlier we had both independently decided to stay at albergue La Morena.
It was a good choice and filling up fast when we got there. About an hour after check in I was in the bar gin and tonicking when they started to turn away pilgrims. Full up. I met Moraid for dinner, we sat at a four seater table where we were joined by a Dublin lawyer called John. Dinner was good and we had a good time. Two Oirish folks and a halfwit from the North of England, how could we not. It was as though someone had left a bag of idiots open. We were last out of the dining room.
I took my wine and went to sit in the garden. I got talking to another Irish guy, laid on his back with binoculars pointing upwards. Turns out Ledigos and surrounds, at an elevation of 900m and sparsly populated, is one of the least light polluted parts of Europe, so it’s good for stargazing.
The guy was interesting… At first. But then he started to educate me. He told me about Capernicus and his idea of a heliocentric solar system. ???? . Yawn. When I told him I knew no astronomers except Patrick Moore he was shocked
‘What about Gallileo, you must have heard of Gallileo’ he asked.
‘Oh yeah,’ I said. ‘He was just a poor boy from a poor family’.
I left Edwin Hubble looking at the sky and went to bed. Early night.
It is now 9 days since I was in T K Maxx. I miss my wardrobe.
Any feedback you can write in the comments section. Tell the truth now. Jesus is watching.