June 22nd Sunday Bercianos del Real Camino between Sahagun and Leon just off the N-120
We left this morning a little bit later than we wanted, I forgot to set my alarm and we stayed in our own room so no pilgrims to wake us up. The albergue that we stayed at last night was awesome. The girl who worked there was from Croatia I think and was so kind and helpful. She helped us to send our duffel bag ahead to the next town. There was a big mural on the wall inside the dining room and the people looked familiar. It was a mural of all the workers and owners of the albergue.
We headed out of town about 9:00 and it was a long walk to the first town. Right at 10 km. Deb’s chair performed wonderfully as long as she stayed awake. This was another great path day for us, the full 10 km were alongside a seldom used road for Deb and I could walk on the path 5 feet away.
The first person we walked with for a while was Natalie from Arizona State University, she is studying to be a vet. We walked several km with her until we came up on 4 people getting some wild cherries from a tree and they shared some with us. I think they were some sort of little plum maybe, too sour for me.
The four turned out to be a couple from Austria and one from Germany and another from Austria.
I walked with Steffen for several km. He is a retired policeman in Austria and is walking with his wife Elvie. I asked Steffen where he started from and he said from his house in Austria. He started on March 29th and has walked of 2500 km already. His wife met him in St. Jean Pied de Porte and will walk with him to Santiago. We talked of many things even without a common language, I felt he spoke English very well. As we walked we would look over at Deb on the road and we thought she was checking out things on the other side. Actually she was falling asleep at the wheel and veering all over. No wonder I don’t let her drive.
A lady passed us and as she went by she called out Ultria. I caught up with her to ask her what it meant, I had heard it several times before. We walked for a while and she said it was like Buen Camino (Have a good Way) but more spiritual. Kind of like God go with you on your Way. She said so many people now do the camino for holiday or health, spirituality is less and less and she misses that. While our Camino didn’t start out as a spiritual journey it is becoming more and more so every day. I am enjoying going to the pilgrims mass and blessings.
As we walked into Bernicial there was a café right at the beginning in a fork in the road. We walked up and met an American girl we have seen several times, her name escapes me at the moment. She said the place was run by two pilgrims and to ask their story so we did. Franko is from Croatia and Andrea was from Southeast Spain. They met five years ago on the Camino and fell in love. They wanted to stay on the Camino so they bought this house and opened a café for the pilgrims. Their dream is to open an albergue here also. They now have a two year old son. They let us charge Deb’s chair for the next 7 km walk and we had a ham and cheese bocadillo, and Deb had an empanada. We had not had one of those yet but it was very good. Tuna, and different vegetables baked in a flaky crust.
Debs chair is at about 85% so we will get back on the road momentarily, my feet are rested I am sitting outside so I can take off my shoes and am watching all the pilgrims go by. We don’t want to get into El Burgo Ranero too late so we will head out. Buen Camino, Utlria. We just met a girl from Hungary named Esther (picture) who walks with a boy from Holland who has walked from his home and his boots are falling apart. Over 2500 km for him also.
We walked on to Burgo del Ranero a total of about 18 km, maybe 13 or 14 miles. It doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things but it sure makes my feet hurt. When we came into town we headed for the municipal albergue first. The lady at the albergue in Sahagun told me all muni. Albergues had to be handicap accessible but someone didn’t tell this town. Every bed was upstairs. We like staying in the municipals more because there are usually more people there. We checked three other places and nothing we could get into there either. That is usually when we start to worry a little but we have learned there is always someplace for us to sleep. The last place we checked said about half a click up was the la laguna albergue that should work. We walked there and no one was there to check us in so I walked back to the bar that is associated with it and was told I just missed him, so back I went. He spoke no English but we worked everything out and paid just 10€ apiece. That is the price for a bed in the dormitory but we were given a private room. When I checked in with the hospitelerio we were talking about Americanos and silla de ruedas, he told me two amigos were through two days ago in a chair. I asked were their names Justin and Patrick. “Si Si” and he showed me the log, sure enough the I’ll Push You guys stayed in the same room we got.
While I was checking in a younger girl came up and started talking to Deb outside. When I got out she said her name was Sophie and she knew Hayden. He was here last night but in the municipal. Everyone seems to remember him and they always come up to her and ask if she is his mom. We talked for a while and told her that Hayden would be waiting for us in Leon.
We walked down to the market, which opened at 5:00 and bought pasta, anchovies, beans and drinks for supper. There is a nice little cocina here and we had a pleasant meal. We are both beat and it is only 8:00. Early bed tonight if I can get these pictures to upload.
Another long day tomorrow, 18 km I think but the first 13 straight with no place to charge. Full charge in the morning we should be okay. We should be in Mansilla tomorrow then Leon on Tuesday night for my birthday.