Day 18 - Hermanillos

June 14, 2014 - Distance Traveled: 26.9 km -

Yesterday, we decided to meet in the courtyard at 5am to get an early start. It was dark when we left, but we had a the light of a full moon to light our path. Most of the roads we were walking on were made out of white crushed stone. The sliver light of the moon illuminated them quite nicely. Only once did we have to search around for a yellow arrow making the way.

Amy and I walked together this morning. She was curious about America and shared lots about New Zealand. She studied design and we were able to talk about beauty, creativity, and their impact on our soul.

We finished the 13 km of the day in just two and half hours...a pretty good pace.

The first town we came to that had an open cafe/bar was in Sahagun. The road leading to the center of the city was lined with fencing. There is a festival in town, much like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to stay and watch because we have an Alburgue to get to (we wanted to ensure we get a bed). We found the three men from Philadelphia when we arrived. They had walked through the night and were sleeping on benches. They were kind enough to allow our arrival to disturb their sleep. They are going to stay and run with the bull, if they are running today. Sergio has told us he wants to stop here as well and take it all in. The rest of us are set on moving on.

The town was sprinkled with people who had apparently never gone to bed, and instead partied all night. After our cafe con leche we moved through the town and came across a group of inebriated men. One of them approached two of the ladies and put his arm around them. I could tell it made the two women uncomfortable. They were a few paces in front of me, Emilie was by my side, and two others were several steps behind us. Feeling like the moment could escalate, and not wanting it to get out of hand, I stepped into the middle of the men, started shortening my hiking poles into clubs, and put on my best "I am a friendly pilgrim but I will go nuts if I need to" look on my face. An older gentleman in the group must have got the point, because he stepped forward and pulled the younger man off the ladies. We then went quickly on our way.

We stopped on a bridge just outside of town to memorialize our safe passage. The young ladies made the comment that it was nice to have a dad along to watch out for them. I took that as a significance complement.

Flat, dry and big skies was the order of the day.

The town of Hermanillos felt deserted when we arrived. The only albergue in the town slept 20. Because of our early departure, we had arrived very early in the day (11 am), so we dropped our packs outside the albergue, found a small store, procured food for lunch, and proceeded to picnic on the sidewalk.

While we were eating, a head popped out of the overflow room next to the albergue. It was Todd, so much for setting a quicker pace. He had walked through the night with two women from Brazil, who he rescued from some sketchy fellows in the town of Sahagun the night before. Together, they made their way here. When they reached Hermanillos, the only beds available were in the overflow. The ladies have decided to take a rest day and stay with us in the albergue tonight. Todd, of course, will keep moving.

The Kiwis decided to make the most of our early arrival. They pulled out their craft supplies and began to embellish their memory books of their journey. This amazed me because they were carrying such small pack. Where do they have the space to carry this stuff? The answer is, they had wisely decided to not carry unnecessary duplicates, so whatever they could share between them they did. It made for lighter packs and created space for some creature comforts. I had not expected to see a glue stick on the Camino, but there it was. Adorned with pressed flowers and printed materials they had pick up along the way, their journals are becoming beautiful works of art.

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