Camino de Santiago, Camino Frances, pilgrimage, Spain

September 18th, Day 17: Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagun

Cesar, Tammy and me at breakfast in Calzadilla.

It’s a cold and fitful night’s sleep. Unfortunately, we’re next to an impressive snorer, and sometimes a solo snorer is worse than the orchestra, especially considering I thought we were going to have a peaceful night’s sleep in the garden. Silly me!

We are up before the sun, and we pack up and head back to the village restaurant, Hostal Restaurante Camino Real. Cesar is there to greet us, and makes us large, milky coffees and brings us croissants. It’s nice to feel looked out for, and by someone we have known for such a short period of time. We take a photo with Cesar, promise to email it to him and head out.

The day’s walk is uneventful. I feel tired and relieved that we have booked ahead in Sahagun. Like I’ve said before, booking ahead takes away from the spontaneity of the Camino a bit, but after a night in the garden, we wanted to enjoy the day’s walk and not worry about where we would lay our heads tonight.

Me with the ‘French 4’ en route to Sahagun.

We pass through Ledigos and stop in Terradillos de Los Templarios for a snack. We order Aquarius and the café worker brings us a free tortilla de patata. We sit in the café courtyard longer than necessary and leave town with two French couples who are also headed to Sahagun. Michelle is the name of one of the ladies, and we sing ‘Michele mon belle’ to her as we go. They break away on the outskirts of Sahagun, and Tammy and I make our way to the hotel/albergue.

 Sahagun seems lackluster. Maybe my energy is low, or maybe it’s a combination of both, but I don’t feel inspired by what I see. Even the albergue seems a little sleepy. We check in and realize that we are booked into a hotel room, and we try to switch to the dorm with no avail. But a hot, private shower and clean bed are always welcomed here and there, and we still have use of the common area and reservations for the pilgrim dinner, so we have the best of both worlds.

Tammy ventures out to find a chemist for some compode and pain medicine, and I sit in the courtyard, writing, chatting and mapping out our next few days. I find an internet connection in the lobby and email Cesar the photo of the three of us from the morning.

Later in the afternoon, we run into Brian, who Tammy had met a couple of days earlier. He is on his second trip to the Camino, this time completing the second section, the meseta. He will be back in the Spring to complete the third section, Leon to Santiago. Brian is an impressive character, a man who loves nature, values his independence, and who has obviously found inspiration on the Camino. I find out Brian had surgery to remove one of his kidneys just 14 months prior…What a remarkable man! And now I better understand he and Tammy’s connection.

Judith, Teresa, Tammy and me at dinner in Sahagun

We sit down for dinner at a table for four and spend the evening with two ladies from California, Judith and Teresa. We get to hear two more stories from two special women and their reasons for doing the Camino. I feel a special draw to Judy, an artist with a heart of gold, who is trying to find her independence and go her own way. I hope the Camino gives her the strength she needs to do so when she returns home.

After a long dinner, I check my email one last time and see that we’ve received a message back from Cesar… It reads,

Buenos dias de Nuevo:
Muchas gracias por mandarme esta foto, con estas 2 mujeres tan bonitas, la guardare para mi recuerdo.
Os deseo que tengais un buen camino y mucha suerte en vuestra vida que os lo mereceis por buetra simpatia y un corazon muy grande.
Muichos besos para las 2 y suerte, aqui teneis un buen amigo, chao

This sweet message wishing us strength for the rest of our Camino is what I need to hear right now. I head to bed, hoping that a solid night’s sleep is just what I need to get through the last couple of hot Meseta days.

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