Today was a relaxing and uneventful day ambling along The Way - yet, in its own way, perfect.
We made an early start, leaving our monastery albergue in Carrion shortly before 7 after a restful night. We had arranged to meet Alessio at the town's 'early opener' cafe at 7am. Yes, we had crossed paths again the previous evening with our young Italian physicist / Boy Scout - and were keen to spend some time with him today, catching up on his progress. This morning we opted for toast as well as caffe con leche, as we had a long stretch ahead before the next village - 17 kms.
For the first half of that distance, we saw more pilgrims ahead and behind us than on any other day. Surprising for this time of year, we are wondering at the ever increasing numbers of pilgrims - particularly Americans - and how much this may have to do with the movie, The Way. And we discovered that some had started in Burgos, and others in Castrojeriz or Fromista.
A little cloud cover today, but plenty of blue sky and pleasant temperature - perfect walking weather. About half way through this morning's stretch, we took the more traditional and rural alternative route which was not only more peaceful but also meant we had the opportunity for a nature stop, which had proven a challenge earlier on!
After a delicious 'second breakfast' stop at the 17 km mark, we breezed through another 9+ to Terradillos de Los Templarios (population 100). It was still early, barely 1.30, so our plan was to have a refreshing freshly squeezed orange juice and continue on to the next village or the one beyond. But, when we arrived, sun shining with a cool breeze, the garden and terrace of this family run albergue were very appealing. Jenny had stayed here in 2011 and recalled that the family provided a delicious home cooked dinner for the 20 peregrinos who can be accommodated here. We asked how many to a room and there was one twin room - so that sealed the deal for us.
We had thought most of our Camino friends were ahead of us, and may have decided to walk on, as we had anticipated. But as the afternoon went on more and more familiar faces arrived including Glenn and Sheryl from North Carolina, and Evan and Jane, our young friends from New Mexico. Peregrinos we have met more recently are also here tonight including Rachel and James (a delightful young couple originally from Taiwan, now living in Canada), James and Anne from Newcastle, and a couple of charming Frenchman and a Belgian lady, Simone, who we learned today is in her mid 70s. She has walked 15 Caminos, this is her sixth time walking the Camino Frances, the path we are on.
So a quiet day, and one we thoroughly enjoyed. Having arrived early here in Terradillos, we are well rested, washing is done, we are looking forward to dinner - and to what surprises mañana has in store for us.
Many thanks to Martin, Libby, Kat, Lindy and Pam for your comments and emails and your encouragement and enthusiasm for our adventure.
Jenny xx and Jill xx