Sahagun to El Burgo Ranero – 18 Kms, 24,792 steps
Some two-star hotels are surprisingly good and some redefine how low the bar is set. Sadly, my lodging in Sahagun was the latter. I tell myself “it’s only for a night” and hope the next place will be better. I did’t sleep too badly, though.
A small group of us walked through Sahagun’s pre-dawn streets, past some of its finest monuments and churches, and out into the countryside. The Camino path was another senda, a path alongside the highway. Some gently-rolling hills led us away from town.
I made a startling discovery early this morning: I had no reservation and, therefore, no room at the inn that I was traveling to! This was another independent operator email snafu and reinforces the value of using a service like Booking.com for reservations.
Luckily, I was prepared. I’d had trouble yesterday getting any answer when I called the place, so I made a reservation at, of all places, a nearby mega truck stop. So when my original reservation vaporized, I had the truck stop to fall back on. And it’s surprisingly nice: a good room with real A/C, just a tad off the Camino, and with a 24-hour diner and convenience store beside it. Not a whiff of diesel fumes. I suspect it may be nicer than my original accomodation at the albergue, and for a few dollars less. Another case of “the Camino provides”?
I was walking for a while on the route of the ancient Via Romana, the original Roman road through Spain, in the era of Augustus.
The rolling hills today introduced acres of a new crop: corn. Some of it was totally dried out but still standing (“feed corn” perhaps?) while other fields were still green. All were heavy with ears of corn, ready for harvesting.
When I got to my halfway point this morning, at Bercianos del Real Camino, I was surprised by Albergue La Perala, a really nice place with something I’ve rarely seen on the Camino: a well-manicured, green lawn. It was a pleasure to take off my boots, sip a cafe con leche, and rest for a while here.
I found another fine example of local large-scale mural art in the middle of Bercianos. Look at this image and appreciate its terrific use of perspective. Can you tell which areas are flat?
Quite a few pilgrims on bicyles went by me today, including a pair on a tandem. Almost everyone shouts out a “Buen Camino” greeting as they pass.
For most of the second half of my walk, conditions were just about perfect: temps in the 60s F, a light breeze, sunny but not on the well-shaded path, gently-rolling hills, and a really comfortable path surface. I hope this keeps up!
I’m not sure who approved it, but the metal arch over the path outside El Burgo Ranero is jarring and unattractive. And all of the stickers that have been applied to it haven’t helped its appearance, either.
I’ve enjoyed my stay at the Avia Truck Stop so far. Tomorrow, I’m off to Mansilla de las Mulas and my last night in the Meseta before heading to the big city, Leon.