Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Walking and the weather

Voltaran continues to be my friend. After two hours of walking out of Burgos, I was still feeling twinges of leg pain. 8.5 kilometres brought me to the little town of Tardjos - not a memorable eating place and I was fearing that I might get stranded here because of limited ability to walk with reasonable speed. However, a cafe con leche and a ham sandwich somehow seemed to give me new strength and I was able to get all the way to my target destination of Hornillos del Camino - about 21 kilometres. By my time of arrival the beds at the refugio were full and my only choice was to sleep in a massive gymnasium. Actually, that suited me fine as an alternative to cramped bunk beds. Others around me were complaining of the extreme cold. For me this was no hardship with a Canadian sleeping bag rated to minus 10 degrees.

The highlite of the evening continues to be the evening meals with copious amounts of Rioja.

Today, I managed another 21 kilometres, this time my 1 p.m and am installed in Castrojeriz for the night. One of my fellow pilgrims has suggested that this may well have been the setting used for the filming of some of the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood. That seems somewhat ironic as the image portrayed in the movies is of extreme heat. This is not what I have been experiencing for the last two weeks.

This has been the coldest May on record in Spain for the past 125 years. When I get up each morning, temperatures are barely above freezing. So far I have been in luck that this has not been accompanied by much rain. It has tended to thunder and rain during the night. Although the temperature makes walking not too unpleasant, the rain has resulted in mud clinging to the shoes and adding another two kilos in weight and more strain on the legs.

This is certainly a camino, not necessarily how one would wish the journey to proceed, but how life happens.

Somehow I am enjoying the experience.


  1. Hi Tim - I just found your blog - thought I signed up for it previously, but now I am all caught up. What a wonderful and challenging camino you are having! So many of your reflections are bringing back memories for me. You seem to be making about the same stops as I did, and perhaps staying in the same places. Thanks for blogging, and for posting the pictures. No more mountains for a few days, so perhaps you will be ready for the Iron Cross out of Astorga, then O Cebreiro.
    Buen camino

  2. Who do you think you are kidding, Tim. I know you are really lounging on a chaise somewhere in the Riviera enjoying a glass of wine and figuring out what to write on your blog tomorrow!