Camino Day 57 (Castrojeriz to Carrión de los Condes) 46K- #CAMINO #HIKING

This morning was our walk in moonlight on the Camino. So sneaking around at 2am in the morning in the middle of a dorm room is not particularly easy (surprise surprise). I did have a terrible urge to wake everyone in the room up and try and make them come with us because everything felt wonderfully magical to me right then. I’m not sure people would have appreciated that though.

My Brother set off as quickly as possible, wanting to find a nice spot to have a fire. The Magician and I were bouncing round excitedly, whilst the South Koreans walking with us were much more sensible, and stretched out their legs ready for the walk. We finally set off in a large group, walking through the darkness. We all started walking separately in groups, being enveloped in the silence. Our eyes quickly adjusting to the moonlight.

After walking over a steep incline, we eventually came to our brother. He already had a fire going, and we all took turns to go and gather more branches for him to burn. Over the flames the Magician and I opened cider, and we all ate through the biscuits and nuts we’d brought with us. The South Koreans caught up with us, but unfortunately they decided to keep walking on. So we kept to our small group of 6 round the fire, the silence slowly enveloping us. My brother then pulled out some incense and asked us if we wanted to say a prayer. He talked through that a prayer can be a wish, what you want to send into the world. It doesn’t have to be about religion, its about you connecting to yourself and others. We all lined up at different points to make our prayers then set out separately to walk alone in the continued darkness, and met up again at sunrise.

One of the biggest challenges for me in this, was to walk alone in the darkness. To not know if I’d lose the Camino path, fall over, to face the fear of complete darkness. There were different times I really was actually terrified in the darkness. I kept walking though, trusting my feet more and more. But every now and again, the fear would come back. And I’d chase it back, telling myself to trust my body, to trust the experience and the path I was walking. Well I’m still writing this and didn’t get attacked and eaten by cannibals. So it was all good!

We eventually missed each other at sunrise, so we started to bumble together as a group till we stopped at an Albergue for breakfast. Here was very sad… As the Magician and I were on a timescale now, so we had to keep walking. Here we said goodbye to my Brother, we weren’t sure if we’d see him again on the Camino. But the Camino was still calling, and we were going to hit a 40K day.

After breakfast we kept walking on, past a canal, covered in morning mist. Where we suffered through our normal second breakfast in Villalcázar de Sirga, (which actually means the delightful Camino of tow path). The walk on from here was continually flat, which just became harder and harder to keep going. The weather not helping either, where we kept taking our rain clothes, on and off all day. We kept using sugar and caffeine to fuel through our sleep deprivation. But we managed to catch up with our Italian friend (who also happens to bake- isn’t that the recipe for the perfect man? Sorry my Magician! He he he!).

The last part of the walk was beautiful in the early evening. As we walked into Carrión de los Condes, and the sky was a golden colour. Here there is a Iglesio de Santa María del Camino from the 12th Century. In the south portal (door) of the church, it describes the annual 100 virgins that were sent as tribute to the Moors. The Moors where the Muslims in the Middle ages who lived in Malta, Siciliy and Iberian Penniisula. Staying at the Municipal here I was so very happy that we got to see my Little Sister again (and her Texan). Here the Magician proved he has one above the Italians, where he went in search of food for our dinner, whilst I got to have a long hot shower (which my muscles needed after 45k in the cold). We had a large dinner over pasta late into the night with happy laughter filling the air.

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