Fromista- Queues on the Camino

As Heather continues her long awaited long distance walk, the Camino de Santiago, she has hit the first queue of the trip; just shy of the half way mark.  Tomorrow takes her across that psychological milestone.  Will she savour the moment or leave it in the dust as she tires of her unsatisfying 30km days?


Well, well;  seems a long time ago I was writing about the Meseta.  I´m still VERY curious as to the connection between Acacio and Orietta who run the refugio I stayed in, in Viloria + Paulo Coelho, the writer.  I´ve looked it up and there´s obviously a connection but I don´t know quite what.

Anyway, still on a literary theme, I wonder how many of you have read that wonderful little children´s book but for grown-ups as well, The Little Prince.  I am reminded of the first person the little prince met, the one who had to look after his tiny planet by looking after the Baobab tree every single day as otherwise it would take over.  I think the foot ceremony is like this.  There are three daily ´chores´once you get to an albergue, the first obviously to have your shower, the second to wash your clothes and the third to examine the feet.  Giving them a cursory glance isn´t enough, you check everything in minute detail, then out come the creams, the file, the plasters, the Compeed…..

Mine are fine actually.  But the daily foot housekeeping is vital to keep them that way.

You´ll be pleased to know that I´ve stopped being superwoman and am doing 20 – 30 km a day.  I am now a tranquil, calm, slo-o-o-w kind of person, aren´t I? But read on.

Fromista is a town.  Miss it out of your 100-places-to-visit-before-you-die.  It´s awful.  The bar next door to the Albergue was good.  I spent a good two hours doing nothing but talking to Jelle and Zoe and eating a rather nice cake.  The albergue had a good washing line.  That was the best thing about it.  The number of people getting up and rustling and shouting at 5.00am was the worst.  This is positively the last time I pay for breakfast as well.  OK, it´s only 2.50 euros. But for 2 little brioches and a cup of something, forget it.

I don´t think I can do just 20 km a day any more.  I can´t gell with afternoons doing nothing – since I started walking at 7.30 this morning (and that´s LATE, believe me), I´ve done 20km or so by 12.30, including long coffee-and-chat stop.  I nearly continued on The Way today but the decision just happened and I decided to stop in Carrion de los Condes and I met my first ever queue for an Albergue.   When I actually got to the entrance, an hour later, I found one man with one register taking five minutes per person to enter them.  Now it might well be a nunnery and holy an´all, and they might well have given free glasses of tea outside to the queue but I´m not sure I´m quite tranquil enough yet not to be cynical about this – ie so, in return for a nice place and the nuns looking after you, you´re meant to queue for an hour for something that should take five minutes?  I mean, I was fine, but there are people in the queue who aren´t feeling well, who are tired, whose feet are killing them and who want nothing more than to lie down on their beds.  Anyway, Roanne will identify with this, I can´t stand the stupidity of them not being able to speed up the system.  This hasn´t happened anywhere else.

Anyway, it wasn´t really a fizz, cos I gave a carton of juice I had, to a man in the queue who was suffering and then a Hungarian inside gave me his bottom bunk, cos I´m not so good at top ones (stop laughing everyone) so I think it all equalled out in goodness and forgiveness and letting things go etc.

Mañana I reach half-way!  However The Way gets crowded from now on, it´s already obvious there are more people and I have to fight the little bit in me that says ´Hey, I´ve been on this since July 20th, what are you doing just joining now?´

I have bought a book to ease me through this afternoon.  It´s in Spanish so the ease isn´t great!  What else but Spanish books would I be going to buy in a small town in Northern Spain?  If I don´t carry any food and ditch half a litre of water that I´m needlessly carrying every day, I can carry the book tomorrow!

Adios, hasta luego!

Heather xxx

That’s a cool 18 days in.  Don’t think the temperature’s been cool though!  Good luck tomorrow and have a cerveza for me!

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