Boadilla del Camino - Fromista - Poblacion de Campos - Villovecio - Villacazar de Sirga - Carrion de Los Condes.
A different start to today's post. We love this quote from our Camino friend Bob Scheidt (the Diabetes Crusader), who is sitting with us as we write today's update:
'You do not experience the Camino only with your muscles, cardiovascular system, or even your brain. The best way to experience the Camino is with a big open heart.'
Another perfect day. It was indeed Super Sunday, just as you predicted Coach. We think the temperature reached 21 degrees and stayed that way most of the afternoon and evening. Who would have thought it possible, when we set out in snow on Day 5.
The walking was peaceful and relatively easy across flat terrain, beautiful landscapes against glorious blue skies - at some points with snow capped mountains clearly on view in the distance. Lots of stories and laughs along The Way with various of our Camino friends, as well as stretches of quiet solitude. There is no pressure on the Camino to walk or talk with anyone. Conversations seem to happen naturally and effortlessly, then one or other walks ahead or lags behind, to meet up again down the track.
Difficult to single out highlights from today, but here are just three as different as they were special:
In the late morning, as we walked the 'old' though slightly longer route alongside the river near the village of Villovecio, an elderly gentleman appeared with a basket of sweets in one hand and a stamp and ink pad in the other. He introduced himself as Pepe and embraced us. In Spanish, he offered us his best wishes and blessings, stamped our credenciale (pilgrim's passport) and wrote a message for each of us in Spanish. With the help of one of our friends, Jane, we found out that he regards it as his mission to extend kindness to the pilgrims who take the route that passes nearby his village. He was such a warm and beautiful soul. Very special.
The second highlight was lunch! The brilliant weather meant a change in our usual fare. Today we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch al fresco opposite the church in the charming village - delicious calamari fried breadcrumbs (so fresh and tender), an enormous fresh salad and freshly squeezed orange juice. The pictures tell the story.
Our third highlight was happening upon a service in English in the Church of Santa Maria, in the delightful town of Carrion de Los Condes, our resting place for tonight (in an albergue in the old Monastere Santa Clara). We were walking past the church just before 6 this evening, and heard music and singing. We decided to go inside what turned out to be a truly beautiful church, where a pilgrims mass was underway with two American priests. We stayed for the remainder of the service and discovered that the two priests are leading a group of pilgrims, presumably to Santiago, and this was a special mass for them, the local mass in Spanish taking place soon after at 7.
The other BIG NEWS of today is that it was our first 'strip down' day. We were in shorts and t-shirts by late morning and it felt great. So, at the risk of showing off, we will leave you with more photos than necessary of us basking in the sunshine.
Also, special messages from the Camino for Happy Happy Birthday Belle (Michelle); congratulations to Nicole and Ben for completing Tough Mudder in 3 hours and 20 minutes (!) and safe travels for your trip to India; and bon voyage and safe travels to Julie and Graham for your trip to Japan. We are thinking of you.
Finally, big thank you for your comments and emails to David, Helen, Dierdre (our Irish peregrino friend we met in Roncesvalles) and Martin. We love hearing from you.
May the sun shine on all of us!
Jenny xx and Jill xx