Day 18 – Terradillos to Hermanillas — 27km

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Oh my word a few kilometers out of Terradillos we found ourselves in the most beautiful ocean of sunflowers.  WOW!!  Stunningly beautiful and a happy moment. 20120708_065816 - Version 2 20120708_063634 Today was more of the Meseta. Though the landscape can be dull at times, it offers a great time to think. It’s also starting to get cold at night. The air is very dry here, so it can get cold quickly, but it can also warm up quickly once the sun comes up.  As I continue to walk (or limp), I’ve realized how a rollercoaster can be a metaphor for life…and some of you know how I love rollercoasters (so not)!  However for now I just have to enjoy the ride of life. When the walking is flat, I miss the mountains for the scenery and the nuances of climbing and descending them. When it’s warm, I wish it were cool. When it’s cool, I wish it were warm.  Lesson to be learnt – I just need to learn to roll with the punches. 20120708_074441 - Version 2 We arrived in Sahagun for a late breakfast and early lunch!  Both Shereez and I were in high spirits up till Sahagun – BUT then…………… (to be continued later)  Pic of Shereez unpacking her back pack AGAIN to see what she can toss.  We are 18 days into the Camino and we are still searching deeply within our bags to see what we can get rid of. 20120708_093401 Messing about in Sahagun!! 20120708_090500 - Version 2 20120708_090519 20120708_091618 - Version 2 20120708_091629 There were two routes today and both routes ended in different villages for the night – so the few of us walking together decided to take the route to El Burgo Ranero.  Shereez and I departed before the others and while having breakfast in Sahagun we heard that the route we chose (the routes split just after Sahagun) is the not the greatest and the Albergue in El Burgo is a shit hole, so we decided to take the other route to Hermanillas.  But – what about the others!  So we wrote them a letter and placed it strategically so they would see and read the note and hopefully follow suite. 20120708_100738 20120708_100718 - Version 2 20120708_100531 On Shereez and I walked not knowing what to expect……. Boy oh boy oh boy – the walk was so hectic and on a loose cobble road and our feet hurt so much we truly thought we would not make it to the village.  It was a loooonngest  road ever and it felt like it was never going to end.   There was no sign of any village whatsoever for miles and the worry kicked in – what is we are lost! One only got to see the village when it was 200 meters away.  (what a relief)!!  It was so hot and no shade and nowhere to stop and rest.  I battled every step of the way and the tears started to burn my face.  Thank goodness for the beautiful memories of the sunflower fields of the morning as it was this “picture” that got me through the day.  From such beauty to dry wheat fields stretching for miles with nothing was not pleasant!!   Today’s walked tested me and tested me and tested me again – mentally and physically I was #ucked and the roller coaster got going in my head and caused such a huge head ache. Finally one could see the church, the next thing the village was right there at my tired aching feet.  We found the albergue easily and what a relief to be welcomed by two German ladies running the Albergue in Hermanillas.  The albergue smelled to clean (yes please) we flopped onto our beds and rested our tired bodies. 20120708_190140 - Version 2 Only 11 pilgrims landed up taking the route we took and how fortunate that everyone spoke English.  We met Alex Clark (middle of photo), a pastor from Pretoria which made it even more special.  The guys said they will cook dinner if the ladies wash up, both Shereez and I thought – bonus, for a cooked meal I would even do their clothes washing.  The guys did the shopping for dinner, we had no input into what was happening and brewing in the kitchen.  The smells were great and I could not wait to sit down to a yummy served meal.  The trio – Randy from Canada on the left and Carsten from Germany on the right.  (Pic above) 20120708_191935 20120708_192027 - Version 2 20120708_204932 “Dinner time”, those words were like cherries and ice cream!  The pasta the gents cooked was soooooo delicious.  Bread and wine was served as well as a slab of chocolate for pudding.  Well done to the dudes for a great dinner.  Luckily there was not much to clean afterwards as the guys had cleaned along the way (so impressed).  The wine continued to flow till the very last drop and then only did we all retired to bed in a “happy” state! .  A festive fun evening with special memories of great people we met tonight.  Made the long haul worth it. A little intro about the people we met tonight. Carsten from Hamburg, Germany is walking the Camino with his 17 year old son, Keren.  I enjoyed Carsten’s energy and thought taking time out to walk the Camino with his son was AWESOME.   Alex Clark the pastor from Pretoria is just fortunate enough to have time to walk and explore (however I am sure there are some deeper reasons as well), another very pleasant chap.  Randy from Canada who is walking the Camino for his brother who has pancreas cancer.  He carries a baseball cap on the back of his backpack that belongs to his brother.  Randy’s wife walked the Camino 10 years ago and Randy was able to share some interesting stories with us.  Randy´s feet were also in bad bad bad bad shape, his blisters were 10 times worse they mine and I felt his pain when I saw him draining and bandaging the blisters.  Cathy and Kevin from the USA, sister and younger brother (must be in there fifties) walking the Camino together.  We have bumped into Cathy and Kevin a few times but it was great having them part of the 11 pilgrims in Hermanillas.  Oh yes, then there was Phil from Norway.  It was so funny, Phil being the younger one around the table, I asked him what made him take this route versus the other that the majoirty of the pilgrims took.  Phil says, “well I saw this note on the bridge just after Sahagun and it said the other route had a shithole of an albergue so he opted for this route”.  Bwahahaha, Shereez and I were histerical with laughter knowing we wrote that note!!! My blisters are healing (slowly),  and I think I have developed an addiction for compeed (darn expensive addiction).  I can’t seem to get walking unless all my toes and hot spots are covered with compeed.  I think I own shares in the company already as I have spent so much money on compeed.  One of the challenges is the blisters are on my heels and no matter what I am wearing, sandals or boots, I step on the blisters so they keep blistering (blister upon blister upon blister). My feet are particularly eina after todays walk. With blisters and all, on I walk………. Oh and just by the way – the rest of our group did not arrive, they clearly opted for the other route. 20120708_062916

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  • Helmien

    Hi Michellie, You are a real Spark(y) and an inspirational friend. Keep it up! I love your stories and cannot wait to see you again and chat about your experience. Enjoy the last few days! Luv Helmien

    • sparkalot

      Hello Helmiena, I am hoping to be in Cape Town end of August beginning of October, I will keep you posted. Take care my friend!!!

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