Carrion de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios.
In the albergue, we meet a French lady from Auch. When we tell her that we passed through there on the 17th July then she says that she saw us, waved at us and tooted her car horn as she always does to pilgrims she sees. What a small world.
In the evening the nuns organised a meal. They provide soup and everyone who wished could bring some food to be shared. About three quarters of those in the hostel including ourselves with Ray who arrived by taxi from Fromista, attended. They then sang, gave us each a present (a star to remind us of our visit to the Albergue), blessed us and wished us well for the rest of our pilgrimage to the tomb of St James. Even if you are non religious then it was an excellent end to a fine evening. There was rain in the evening and more in the night. Thankfully the nuns had brought in everyone’s washing while we were out walking around the town.
We slept well and started at 0600 with breakfast, coffee and a big chocolate roll in the bar just down the street. The early light at about 0730 found us marching like legionaries along the route of the Via Aquijana a Roman road to Gallicia. The Roman military engineers had no problems with the terrain forcing changes in direction and we must have walked for over 10km in a straight line. The only change in the landscape being a slight bump as we crossed the only contour line between Carrion and Terradillos. The only entertainment being the frequent shotgun reports from the field on each side from the hunters of what we think are quail, small brown birds that scurry round in the stubble fields. There seems to be little else to do on a Sunday in Palencia. Every now and then a group of four wheel drive vehicles appear parked in the distance and as we slowly approach the trailers behind them turn out to be portable dog kennels for the hunting dogs. These and the very infrequent picnic areas at the side are the only indication of forward progress. We thought we were on the plains yesterday but this is the real place.
We pass one small village with a hostel and stop for coffee after another hour. We top a very minimal rise in level (about 10m) and suddenly the village of Terradillos appears. It has one church, two albergues and took all of 10 minutes to explore completely!
As a new arrival to the pilgrim (pelegrino) life style I seemed to have survived the first day, walking in the early hours and resting in the heat with vino (2.50 euros a pitcher), and think I could get to like this—how far do we have to walk tomorrow and what time do we start! Already Wales seems along way away and it is of course after a 30 hour train journey across Europe to get to the middle of nowhere( from the middle of nowhere some might say) allons y mes amis!