“Walking induces a trancelike state that allows the mind freedom and eases and encourages explorations of odd possibilities and improbable connections. I walk every day for the mind, as well as the body.”
Bird Cloud, Annie Proulx, c. 2012
We set our sights on Calzada de Coto a small town 19 km away. It would be flat terrain, some remote bush country and an earthen track. We felt good!
It was a beautiful day and Marie and I were walking along not far out of Terradillos. We came up upon Aline and Denis and we saw that they were walking slower and praying the Rosary. We asked if we might join them. Denis reached in his pocket and handed me a wooden rosary from the Holy Land. I still have it. I gave him a Canadian pin. It was a magic moment. We prayed the Rosary together and continued chatting for quite awhile before separating again.
We passed through Sahagun, a larger town filled with pilgrim art work. We stopped for lunch and a rest. We were still feeling strong. We continued on for another 6 km to Calzada. It was about 1 PM. We looked into the municipal alburgue – it was dirty and deserted. So we decided to keep walking another 7 or 8 km. It was at this point that Marie’s blistered feet became too painful to walk on.
What to do? I decided that I would walk ahead about another 5 km to El Burgo Ranero (middle of the map above), get help (a car) and come back to get Marie. I asked her to stay where she was. So off I went arriving breathlessly at the private Alburgue La Laguna in El Burgo Ranero. I was greeted by Rosa, a volunteer hostess from Quebec. When I explained the situation, she immediately offered to drive me back in her car to find Marie. We drove back and looked and looked everywhere but no Marie.
So reluctantly I returned to the refugio with Rosa. As we walked in the door there was Marie. She had made her own way painfully the rest of the distance – over 30 km in total today!! Rosa greeted her with a hug and gave her a face cloth to wipe her brow. We went upstairs to our beds. I had a brief nap and went back down stairs while Marie showered. We noticed Frank Sinatra music was playing. This was going to be a fun place. Marie came down refreshed and had a snack with our smiling hosts.
Then the fun really began. Carmin asked for volunteers to help prepare dinner. Marie volunteered and I said that I would help with the dishes. When I next looked into the kitchen there was a dance party going on!!!
The rest of the evening was a riot. We had a wonderful group dinner. Guys were dancing with brooms. It was a birthday of one young woman. There were speeches and a special chocolate cake. It was the best spontaneous party! Kirsch and Judith from Holland were there too. Tout le band!
So we had had a wonderful spiritual connection, reflective walk time, some pain, bodily renewal, communal meal and finally a joyful music filled dance party, all in one day.
There was even a Spanish priest present and before we went to bed, he led us in multi-language vespers. This was our best day on the Camino!