Fromista – Carrion de Los Condes
12.15 | 239.55 miles
+729 |-559 feet
The first alarm went off at 5:30. Another at 5:45, so I decided it must be time to get up. Another beautiful morning on meseta espanola.
At the halfway point, I stopped for breakfast. I had plenty of time since it’s a short day, and I was on the road by 6:45. I enjoyed a sit-down breakfast in a small restaurant. It was delicious, hot, and filling.
As I was leaving town in the dark this morning, two people were on the road ahead of me. They started to follow the main road, and a local man began to yell to them and point in the other direction. I was looking at my map program myself and knew they were heading the wrong direction. This man was up and out at 6:45 in the morning, recognized two peregrinos going the wrong way, and made the effort to redirect them.
Last week, I was turned around and began to head the wrong direction. The men outside the bar began to yell to me and point in another direction. One would think we would just blend into the background of their everyday lives, but it seems they’re also watching out for us. Another way the Camino is a community – not just pilgrims but also the local folk who host us.
Many of these towns have a population of much less than 100 people. The Camino is a major source of their economy. However, they also have to put up with all of these strangers coming through their lives every day – and not all of us being gracious. I was told they call this time of year on the Way “the gray wave” because the college students and many tourists have gone with the summer. The local folks appreciate this time of year because we leave things neater and have more money to spend. This is an economy that appreciates age over youth!
I arrived before noon and found a hiking store next to the hotel (a rarity outside of the large cities). I was finally able to buy a pair of gloves for these cold mornings. Tonight, I plan to attend a mass that includes a pilgrim blessing at the parish Iglesia Santa Maria del Camino.