Yesterday was a short hiking day of only 20 kilometers into Frómista, where I staid with Merve, Nora, and Mateo, all EVS volunteers. Mateo had to work, but the girls were AMAZING hosts! They
cooked lunch and dinner for me, and insisted that I not shop or help in the kitchen. The latter was probably safer for us all. They even made me a sandwich for the road!
We spent some time in the library where they help locals check out books and use the internet. Then we met up with Kati (a Culture On The Way volunteer working in Carrión de los Condes) for a free guitar solo concert in the church. That was beautiful! We did dinner back at the apartment, which was located in a building off the local elementary school, and talked well into the night about our various cultures and ideas. The whole evening was full of laughter, and we got caught up in our conversation to the point that the sun set before we got around to the interviews. After the interviews we bid each other farewell since I was going to be hitting the trail too early in the morning for the girls to be up. And I finally got to use my air mattress!
In the morning I set off for Carrión de los Condes, about 20 kilometers out. I followed the old route along the creek instead of the new route along the road. In doing so I gained shade from trees but at the cost of being swarmed by gnats! It was so bad I actually tied my bandana around my face. Then I had to put up my poles so my hands could free to wipe them off my arms.
When I got to Carrión de los Condes I met up quickly with Kati and Francesca. We had a drink together and talked about EVS and the Camino. Then we went down to the river for the interviews. They had a busy day today, including hosting a fellow pilgrim who had contacted them through CouchSurfing! To top that off, his name is Paulo, and I was walking with him for a couple days before Burgos. How connected we all are. I thought about crashing at their place tonight with Paulo, but decided that I needed to hit the trail again to make up some kilometers from the short day into Frómista yesterday.
The next 17 kilometers were hot, arid, and flat. It was still beautiful, and I was grateful for the flat terrain because it helped me make some good time. I stumbled into Calzadilla de la Cueza at about 6:00pm, and paid the extra 2 euro to stay in the albergue with the pool. Oooooooh, the pool was nice!
Tomorrow I get to decide whether I want to stay on the modern Camino which follows the highway for sometime, or branch off on the old Camino which is an old Roman road. The difference is two small towns and about 800 meters, so I’ll probably take the old Roman road!