Today was the furthest we have walked with our packs. By the time we arrived my feet were very sore. Tony was also feeling it with a sore heel and hot spots threatening to ripen into blisters.
So today I spent the day climbing up, along and over mesas! Along the way I listened to my Spanish lessons, doing my best to train my ears. I’m getting better with the dialogues on the tapes but when I get the chance for an authentic interaction, Anxiety interferes and I can’t understand a thing! So funny. But with a bit of space and some time to think and respond I’m getting there. At the albergue when I arrived, I was able to ask where could I wash clothes. Baby steps.
So it was a day of thinking again but this time, it wasn’t philosophical or deep. Rather it was about ones’ basic needs. So using a bit of creative license and the metaphor of a train, I’ll share my experience. Every morning the train is at the terminus, but you never know if it will run to schedule. Before breakfast and definitely before you leave the albergue is an ideal schedule. Once you are out on the road, you never know if there will be a train station. And you never know if there is a schedule. And then, just as you forget about worrying, you get the feeling that a train is coming! You need to find the train stop… quickly. But there are none. Only miles of exposed path and then … a grove of trees. It’ll do. It is the next best thing to the train station. So with resolve, off I go, quickly. Checking I’m not visible, I get down to business! Fear of being seen adds a degree of stress to the exercise as does the fact that the knees are now unable to bend. I force them. It is at this stage, once a little bit of relief has arrived, that you take a moment to take in your immediate environment. You discover slowly, as you can’t quite believe it, that you are in the middle of multiple, recent and historic train crashes. There are derailed train carriages all around you. And, as a act of homage to civilized behaviour, each carriage is asymmetrically festooned with white but stained tissue paper. Everywhere. Many, many others have been here before you.
Taking the high moral ground, I was outraged! How could they do this? Have they no shame? Why didn’t they have a plan, a sustainable method to save the environment? Well, you may ask, do I?
Well, actually I can smugly say I do. I do have a system. It includes rubber gloves, biodegradable plastic bags, and a train shed…. a bright orange ex-Gatorade powder container. The perfect size vessel to truck out the train carriage and it’s decoration. When I get to town, it is a simple process of disposing the train carriage in a public bin.
So I can proudly say that my planning has paid off, multiple times (!), as my train schedule is all over the shop.
So, in summary, there is a problem on the Camino. No public toilets and lots of human litter.
3 thoughts on “C#20 – 28th Sept, From Castrojeriz to Frómista, 25 kms”
Am now at Joe’s and reading your blog. Thanks for all that great tourist and personal info. Just got your email too, I am OK just a bit of a sore throat, probably got it from Joan ,ast Sat when Ian and I saw her atBundanoon pony club. Were going to Crookwell but she was with friends at a Harness Meeting. Came to John and Vons on Thursday then on to Joes yesterday.All are well and send their love. You are doing so well,so good you coping with foot troubles and look so happy. LOVE mum
Being familiar with erratic train schedules I absolutely loved this post! Had been wondering about number of train stations along the route so question answered. I thought a few locals might have set up their own stations and were charging pilgrims for their use. Glad you are taking a few days break here and there to rest the feet, but also looks like you are making great progress.
Glad you are enjoying the read. Yes, some locals do have their own station. I had one very expensive experience. I couldn’t use the facilities unless I bought something. So I said yes. No light, no paper, no water… so I decided I’d give him a donation and not buy anything. I gave him 2Euros (AUS$3.20) and he ticked me off with deep disgust and I left having had the most expensive pee of my life!