Day 17 - To Terradillos

June 13, 2014 - Distance Traveled: 26.8 km -

Last night's albergue locks the doors until 6:00 am. You cannot get in, and you cannot get out. There was a group of us waiting, like race horses in the gate, for the door to open. The walk was going to be a bit longer than yesterday's (26.8 km) and the day promised a hot sun and very little shade. The first town we were able to stop in was at the 17 km mark.

While we started out together, we quickly spread out and walked alone. In the beginning of the Camino when you would walk there would be maybe one or two people on the trail but now there are around 15 before and 15 behind you. It seems there are new people added in every town. Even though it is much busier you can still find your own space to walk.

When we finally arrived in town, we stopped for our morning cafe con leche (the Kiwis prefer tea with steamed milk). Not only does this provide for rest and a chance to refuel, it also almost always provides opportunity to meet new people. This morning it is two women two women from Ireland. They shared their experience on the trail so thus far and we chimed in with ours.

After the break I walked with Emilie for a few kilometers and we talked about snowmobiling and skiing. Try as we might, this did not help cut the heat of the hot Spanish sun, but it did pass the time. Sooner than expected, we made it to the Albergue in Terradillos. This town is so small there is no market or bar, but fortunately the Albergue has a nice courtyard in which to rest and meet new people. Not long after Sergio and Kiwis arrived, they declared the albergue full.

Sergio is sitting in the courtyard of our albergue in Terradillos de los Templarios. He is probably looking at facebook, where his wife would post a photo of the two of them and a poem she had written for him each day. I am sure he was feeling loved as he discovered her daily gift.

We arrived early in the day and it was a good thing we did. By 1 pm, pilgrims were making their way through the courtyard to the office, where they would be told there was no more room in the inn. They would have to walk an additional 6 km to San Nicolas del Real Camino, since the next town was full as well. It was heart breaking to see the look on the faces of people who walked in thinking their long day under the hot sun was over, only to discover they had miles still to go. One group called a cab to get ahead of the pack. Today we crossed the halfway mark on the Camino!

Because of the increased traffic on the Camino, the competition for beds is heating up. Tomorrow, we are going to take the Via Romana, an alternative route which follows a section of Roman road. There are very few beds in the town where we will be staying. We all agree, we had better get an early start.

Rachel is holding tube of arnica cream, which helps to reduce inflammation. She is a nurse. She often meets the needs of others by caring for their wounds and providing massage therapy to sooth aching muscles and joints. I appreciate the way she serves her friends. More than once, after arriving at our destination for the day, she has run back to help someone carry their pack. I also appreciate how deeply she thinks deeply about life and relationships. In the few short days we have been walking together, we have shared many significant conversations. Often, we seem to have our best talks on the longest and hottest stretches or the Camino. These make the hard sections enjoyable. She is a joy and I am greatful to have as part of our family, despite the fact she chose the rabbit from the pilgrim's menu for dinner tonight.

P.S - There are not alot of photos today. It was just too hot to take snapshots.

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