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Terradillos de los Templarios to El Burgo Ronero

image Today’s 31 km walk was pretty boring in many respects, especially the flat landscape to which it seems there is no end. One consolation though, is that for several days now I have had a really clear few of the snow capped Picos de Europa in the distant north. Also, I reached the halfway point to Santiago today! Admittedly this was not the halfway point to my own final destination, but I felt a real sence of achievement. image The swelling on my leg hasn’t got any worst, but I have developed a swollen vein just beneath the original swelling that hurts like hell. At the advice of one of my walking companions| I will buy a support stocking at the first chance I get, but I will have to wait as the apothecary is closed today for easter thursday(!), viva Espagne! Also, I am planning a couple of short 20 km walking days, but will hopefully still arrive in L茅on on Saturday where I plan to stay for two nights so I can rest my leg a wee bit. Yes yes, I know, I said the same thing in Burgos and also in Pamplona, but this time I must, unless another miracle occurs… Don’t get me wrong though, apart from the pain I am enjoying every minute of the camino, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world! Also, I know that my leg will get better soon. image Tonight the ‘famous’ Leidse dish Hutspot came home! Under difficult conditions I may add, i.e. a crappy kitchen and the shops were closed. Together with a few friends I cooked dinner again. Hutspot, although a traditional Dutch dish, has its roots in Spain. The funny thing was, that while I was cooking the dish, the Spanish guy running the albergue where I am staying started to offer me advice on how to cook it! Anyway, the dish turned out really well, I think, even without the beef that I couldn’t buy as the butcher was closed. However, I did spice it up with a wee bit of some fantastic cheese and bacon! Which I suppose is the real essence of hutspot. I.e. boil anything to hand, to death, but make sure it tastes really good! image

Carri贸n de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios

image Last night I splashed out 14 euros for a private room at the monistery in which I stayed so, apart from the painfully swolen leg, I feel great today! image After a wee bit of breakfast consisting of coffee and pan chocolate I was on the road again. image I’ve noticed that there are a lot of Spanish people around here, otherwise you might be led to believe that the area I am walking through is actually in the Netherlands. Maybe the Dutch landscape is was attracted the Spanish to the Netherlands in the first place, but I doubt it. luckily for me the Spanish did invade though as this became the catalyst for the creation of Nederlands first university. 馃檪 Some of my fellow pilgrims are struggling to appreciate the true beauty of this region we are now in, and find it really boring. I on the other hand, have the advantage of living in the Netherlands much of my adult life and have learned to aprereciate the true beauty and the feeling of space that a flat landscape has to offer. image I was supposed to cook dinner tonight, but the I an stayibg at albergue doesn’t have a kitchen, so tomorrow will gave to do. Had a nice dinner though, lentil soup followed by rabbit stew abd chips. Desert was cold custard with a soggy buscuit floating about in it. 9ne great thing today, I met up eith one or two ‘old’ friends which was great! image Today I was faced with a stark choice! To go up or to go on. Needless to say I choose the latter… And last but not least, we’ve got a right snorer in here tonight.

Boadilla del Camino to Carri贸n de los Condes

image There was a lot of snoring and farting going on in the dormitory last night I can tell you! The owner of this Albergue must have a really strange sense of humour. The bean soup we all had for dinner yesterday evening has worked its magic thats for sure. I will skip the details about the air quality in the dormitory right now, other than to say that I will be glad when its 6 pm so I can get if out of bed. image Well, as soon as 6:00 am arrived I was up and away, before breakfast in fact. It was pitch black outside once I had left the village so I used my head lamp to find my way. It was cold too, and I looked forward the the warmth of the first rays of sunshine. image I stopped for breakfast about 6 km further along the path at Fr贸mista and guess who I ran into? Alberto Mura and Gianni Mura! I hadn’t seen them for a few days. image I didn’t mention this earlier, but I banged my shin a couple of days ago and I am becoming a bit concerned as my leg has become swolen and after a few hours walking each day the pain becomes unbearable. The painkillers I gave with me dull the pain a little, but hardly enough. If I can reach Leon on Saturday the I will stay there a couple if days, see a doctor and rest my leg. Anyway, thats enough whining! image The sun is shining, I have had a shower and have splashed out 14 euros for a private room in an eight hundred year old monistery. Two wall sockets to myself so I can recharge my camera’s batteries AND more importantly no snoring add farting! Sheer unadulterated luxury… image As I get closer to Sandiago more pilgrim routes are merging into one, so walking a whole stage with just a handfull of pilgrims has become a thing of the past. Also its holy week and the camino has become quite busy. Many Spaniards walk a section of the way each year during holy week. No doubt things will quiten down a wee bit after easter. I have been invited by my Korean and Japanese friends to a different albergue to the one I am staying in for dinner tonight. We are gaving pasta, so I wonder if the Alberto and Giani are involved! image

Hontanas to Boadilla del Camino

image With the clocks being forward I am now starting out in twilight. image The first stage of todays walk was truely tranquil. The sun was shining, the birds singing and a woodpecker was up in a tree banging it’s heads against a treetrunk. Its a good job that woodpeckers have a pockets of air in their head to absorb the blows! image image Once past Castrojeriz and the Rio Odrilla the path rises sharply up the Alto Mestelares, with its spectacular views across the Meseta. It was so clear when I was up there that to the north I could see the southern Picos de Europa in the far distance. image After coming down from the Alto Mestelares and a lunch break in Itero de la Vega I increaced my pace a bit and walked the last eight kilometers to Boadilla del Camino in less than 1.5 hours.

Burgos to Hontanas

image After a good night sleep I am on my way again after deciding not to stay two nights in Burgos, but to walk 1.5 stages of the camino today instead. image The walk out Burgos was exceptional. The terrain to the east of the city is flat and our approach to the dry arid Meseta where I am now was shrouded in mist giving the landscape a mystical quality. image As we started climb the first of three large hills the mist soon gave way to the arid landscape of the Meseta. Its been a tiring day and for the first time I have has pail in my leg muscles and my feet are pretty sore too. image Hontanas, where I am now is a beautiful medieval village in the back of beyond. Its been an exhausting day today and no doubt I will sleep like a log tonight. image

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