Mighty Fine Shindig

with 2 Comments

Coming into Sahagún on Friday the 13th, I expected to continue on for another 5-15 kilometers, but I arrived to find the town set up for a bull run through the streets! Come to think of it,

I still don’t know why they were doing the bull run, but they were doing it for three days. Maybe it’s an annual thing for the town, or maybe it had something to do with the World Cup and their match against the Netherlands. I don’t know, but it was enough to convince me not to continue hiking through the heat of the day.

Up until now, I had been talking about doing a night hike, but hadn’t yet. While waiting for the run to start, I got to talking to a couple of Catalonian girls (think Barcelona) who said they were going to hike at night since it was a full moon. I asked if I could join, and they readily complied, so plans were set to meet up after the festivities.

I was able to use the albergue to shower and wash my clothes, then it was out into the streets to await the run. A bit of a parade took place first, then at seven o’clock I lined up along the fence, iPad ready, or so I thought. What was supposed to be a video of the whole run turned out to be only a picture of the runner’s faces when they let the bulls go. But what a priceless set of faces! We even had some pilgrims running!

They ran through the street and into the stadium where the local sportsmen played tag with the bulls in the ring. I have mixed feelings on the sport, so only stayed to watch for a little while. Besides, there was an ice cream truck right outside. All in all, though, it was pretty impressive to be a part of the action.

After the bullfight, the whole town moved to the city square for drinks and food. Marching bands played music, and children chased each together be around. Bars all along the street were crowded with locals and pilgrims alike watching the soccer game between Spain and the Netherlands. The loss did not diminish the upcoming celebrations at all. Perhaps it even spurred it on! At midnight they started a full-fledged concert. We’re talking lights, dancing, costumes, the works! The girls and I enjoyed the show, danced a little, and finally cut out of town at about 1:00am.


We proceeded to hike 13 kilometers along an old Roman road under the full moon. Despite the complete and utter exhaustion, it was truly majestic. A one point we rested on the side of the road, perched up on our backpacks gazing at the moon. We talked about whether we saw a man in the moon or a rabbit. My momma always saw a rabbit, so that’s what I see, too.

We finally staggered into Calzadilla de Los Hermanillos at 5:30 in the morning. Since nothing was open, we curled up on a couple of stone benches in a square behind the albergue. We were out immediately, I have never felt such a soft stone bench before! When the albergue finally opened we waited inside until the hospitalario arrived. He allowed us to use the overflow room to sleep while he cleaned up the albergue. As soon as we could we checked in to the albergue and slept as much as possible for the rest of Saturday.

Sunday morning I was up and on the trial by 6:00 am. I had bid my fair well to the Catalonian girls, Helena and Irene, who wanted to sleep in and do breakfast in town, but I had some ground to cover! I mad a steady 38k hike into Leon and managed to snag the last fold out out bed in the corner of here albergue. I managed to catch up to “old” Camino friends, make new ones at dinner, and even found my first amber beer in all of Spain.
When I walked with the Fellowship of the Camino I enjoyed the times before and after the hiking a little more, but now that I am alone again I find that it’s the walking that lures me. It is my time to meditate to pray, and to push my body. I plan on sticking with my 30k days, unless I run into another surprise like Sahagún. I’m trying to stay on schedule while embracing the flow of the Camino. I think that as long as I press hard on the walks, I can enjoy not knowing where I will stay the night.
Leon square


2 Responses

  1. Amanda

    Sounds absolutely amazing!

    • TJHolcomb

      It was a blast. I’m so glad I stayed for the party.

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