We left Ledigos late in the day, walking on to the Terradillos de los Templarios, which used to belong to the Templar Knights. They were set up to protect pilgrims to Palestine, which then expanded to protected all pilgrims (including those to Santiago). The Templar Knights were dissolved when the church abolished their order on 13th October 1307. This was set into motion from pressure by the French King Philipp IV. This is because of their strength in numbers (especially in France). When they were dissolved they were persecuted by the Inquisition, and executed under the pretext of heresy, blasphemy and fornication. After this, the Order of the Templars was revived as a charitable Christian group.
We walked leisurely all day, stopping for a long time for lunch in a pub. Here we met 2 Spanish performers, who’d walked the Camino about 5 times together. We had a long time here practicing with their fire sticks and poi. And for those who don’t know, fire sticks are where you use two sticks to juggle a third stick between. For the clumsy amongst you (like me) its an awesome reason to hit yourself repeatedly with a stick. And poi (something I LOVE playing with) its basically two weighted balls on the end of a rope. These originate from the Maori in New Zealand, and I always think they look really pretty when you use lighted ones at night. Well…. poi should come with a warning for men. Some men are… urm… well competitive. And when you use poi for the first time, there can be a very strong temptation to swing them as fast as possible. And.. well I watch a friend whack himself in a delicate place with one of these and he didn’t get up for about 5 minutes. But they are really pretty! Honest!!
We eventually got back on the road and started walking to Sahagun. We were planning on catching up with the Spanish performers later, but didn’t make it further than Sahagun. As a small town, it used to have significant cultural, religious and political power through the 9th till 12th century. But you can’t see much of this now, in fact what you do see is a lot of graffiti and poverty. We managed to stay in the municipal here, which is a beautiful old cathedral with large vaulted ceilings that echo.
We happily found a lot of our friends, that we thought we’d left behind (after we’d walked over 40K one day). This included our Brother! Needless to say I bounced round him like an over excited child, which I’m not sure he was ready for since he’d walked over 45k that day. I spent the night cooking food for us all as a group, and had the really weird experience (as a devoted control freak) of people asking me to give them jobs to do. Normally when I’m doing anything I don’t let anyone touch anything. Or I refuse to accept offers of help. I guess I really was growing on the Camino. Learning that its ok to accept help. Owh that feels weird even writing that. Scrap that, I’m still a devoted control freak (or at least still in recovery). We finished the night filled with a warmth of friendship that I hadn’t felt since I’d been at secondary school. I’d found my tribe on the Camino….