Day 5: Carrion de Los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza


OK, now we know why some people choose to bike or even skip the Meseta. I’m glad we didn’t, but it is, indeed, a long, hot stretch of nothing but crops, dust and flies. I am a big believer in the notion that you find what you’re looking for, so Donna and I made a point of looking for things that we could be grateful for.

Trees! Yesterday was sans trees. Today we had a decent stretch of tree-lined trekking. Breeze! It was in the high 70s today, and the perspiration streams turned our clothing into swamp coolers when the breezes blew through. Today was a relatively short day of 17k. Around 10K we finally found an oasis in the form of an entrepreneur who set up a rest stop with a barbecue and cold drinks.

Our morning selfie under the arms of a guardian angel outside the Monastery lodging.
The original monastery’s front entrance.
Grateful for the batches of shade provided by trees.
Billboard advertising ala the Camino. We had walked all morning without any signs of civilization, so when we saw this “ad” for a rest stop, we got excited. It was about an hour away, but it gave us a goal. And notice the different type of trees. We did.
After the oasis, this was our view. Look at the horizon line, a little to the right of center. See those buildings? The sparked such joy, we almost had a spring in our step as we anticipated seeing a town—the town in which we’d lay our heads that night.
And there it is. Home for a night in the Hostel Camino Real. There is such a sense of relief and excitement as we approach a town. Before we got too excited, we did a quick check of our FitBits to verify that we had walked about 17K. If, for instance, we had only registered 15K, that would mean that this was not our town. Turns out our FitBits said 17K and that meant we could start looking forward to showers and on this day, sangria.


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