We didn´t sleep as long as we expected. At 5 am in Sahagun it was middle afternoon in Dunedin, so I woke, and txted my son Nick in Sydney to see if he could help me with a connection problem I was having. He could. So we caught up on family news, had an undieticianally correct 3 euro breakfast, repacked and set out at 8 am for our leisurely first day´s target of El Burgo Ranero 18km away.
The halfway marker of the Camino Frances in Sahagun. This is where we left the Camino in 2009.
It was a beautiful morning. There was a cool breeze behind us, a clear blue sky and golden fields stretching to the horizon in every direction. We walked out of the old town and across the Meseta. Each section of the Camino is looked after by a local voluntary committee and this one had done their work well. The track is senda, and young plane trees line it all the way, providing some shade but not as much as they will in a decade´s rime.

We stopped for sandwiches and coffee at Bercianos Real Camino and were in El Burgo Ranero at midday.

We were both as fresh as daisies, perhaps even fresher. It´s only another 13 km to Reliegos, so we thought walking there would be a pleasant way to spend the early afternoon. Doing that would mean the leg from Sahagun to Leon would take only two days instead of the intended 3, and given the choice, a day off in Leon sounded a better deal than another day in the sun trudging the Meseta.

We´re here, but all things considered, 31 km in the sun with monotonously level and firm track underfoot was probably not the best call for our first day. The bit of track leading here passes no towns, no fountains, no forests; just flat farmland with the occasional mud brick barn or house, and the white senda track and the small green trees in a line going on forever.We both have proto blisters, nothing to worry about yet, but we´ll need to be careful tomorrow. We got here about 3.30 at about the limit of our reserves, found the Alberge, chose bunks, showered, washed today´s clothes and put on tomorrow´s. Clemency is asleep on her bunk and I´m downstairs with a coin in the slot computer.

Reliegos is another of those practical little Spanish farming towns which simply has no equivalent in New Zealand. There is an ancient church, flat streets, houses with windows designed to keep out the sun, no shops as we would recognise them but they´re there if you look hard enough. There are old brick kilns which people have turned into very Hobbit-like homes. There are several bars and cafes catering to peregrinos. It is full of character, it is clean and tidy, but it is not really pretty. We are, however, very very glad to be here.


NIE said…
Whew, that was a big first day! May the sle-e-e-p be restoring you mightily. Look after those four feet, please! Love & blessings, N
Belinda said…
Hi Clemy - we are so pleased to hear from you. Unfortunately we have lost the automatic sign in on your computer to the blog so I have been unable to load anymore blogs. Also we had replied to your post but you wont get it as it will be sent to your school email! anyway you can tell us the password for logging into just the room 9 blog sight. thanks heaps Belinda :) cell 0273735173 if you prefer to text or if you can email myself at home. happy and safe travels. I am going home to read all your travel diaries to date. take care.
Camille Giles said…
WOW Clemancy when you said you were doing about 25km a day i was inpressed but here you have done 31km, that is amazing, i look forward to reading more about your travels, be safe :-)
John said…
Sounds wonderful.

As we prayed for you both at synod...
God be in your head, and in your understanding;
God be in your feet, and in your walking;
God be in your eyes, and in your seeing;
Go be in your ears, and in your hearing;
God be in your hearts, and in your relating;
God be at your table, and in your sharing;
God be in your beginnings and your endings,
Jesus holding you in his heart, your home.
Anonymous said…
Prayers for your next leg today. May the Lord speak powerfully to your hearts and give you a fresh vision of his glory.

Wynston said…
This comment has been removed by the author.