They are wearing chiffon sheer gossamer white habits. I notice this as they unlace and release my imprisoned feet. As they undress my feet and replace the toxic garments with holy aromatic potions, the nuns slowly massage my wretched stumps. I am entranced by their come to my altar eyes. Hours of bliss.
Then Edwina tells me they are monks and we passed them a while back. The whole edifice crumbles. Still it was good whilst it lasted, and there isn't much else no do crossing the Meseta. Most pilgrims agree that a different mindset is now required. Once the feet have been trained to walk a few paces in a very straight direction then not a lot extra skill is required. The boots can be pretty well left to their own devices, although we did come accross a slight five degree bend this afternoon, a good job the nuns were not too engrossing. Dreaming and listening to Adam's spotify play list with its absorbing beat are the accompaniment to the endless Meseta. I have to say that it really is not boring. I think it is beautiful. It lacks dramatic features but has subtlety.
As for the human built environment, it is a little different. Villages are stretched out further and measured in populations of less than 200. Even these lowly figures seem a little exaggerated. We haven't seen a child for two days, which for Spain is remarkable. The villages are not well kept and one of the main architectural features appears to be rubble, lots of it. Having said that, tonight's stop is clearly a superior village. Despite the best efforts of the only hotel who were not helpful inxxxx, I managed to scout out a dormitory in a very peaceful Albergue, complete with wifi, garden, showers and a good bar. The young element of our posse lingered earlier in the day and have only just arrived as we oldies are drinking our first beers. Well showered, clothes washed and wifi code acquired. Usual routine.
Finally a slightly different taste sensation for the standard ten euro pilgrim's menu. The pollo was still on the bone unlike all previous occasions where the bones had been removed and the meat flattened by a huge hammer in the Spanish chicken bashing factory. Herbs and spices had also been added, but alas no greenery. The waitress was clearly delighted by the enthusiastic responses these new tastes elicited from the assembled pilgrims.
This morning started with a cold thick fog which only lifted after our customary 7km walk and then breakfast. Our morning couple time (we like to start the day walking only together) had a shorter than usual pain briefing. Neither of us had any truly new ailments to report and the old favourites are slowly healing. Ellen acquired yet more new foot ware in Burgos, quite a practical pair of ankle height rugged walking shoes that matched her stripy orange ski socks. This had resulted in a small new set of blisters but only of the mild non debilitating kind. More upsetting, she had to ditch her old pink trainer / boots in the hotel waste bin. Carrying four sets of foot ware really would have been considered excessive by any pilgrim standards. Two is considered the norm.
The posse briefly swelled today. Sam the big American and his lovely wife seemed to gain posse status. They were slow and not at all interested in speed. He also wore a wife beater. They were perfect for the posse. Unfortunately after a good rambling conversation today they said goodbye as she would lose her nursing job if she did not get back state side soon. Looks as if God may have been calling more strongly this side of the Atlantic but hey, her decision.
Philip has been pretty consistent recently. A real foodie, Chinese origin German. Had an interesting evening tonight, but his beer consumption is way out of my league. He is doing the camino in sections so goodby to him tomorrow. Letting go ………..
Tomorrow should be interesting. 5km to coffee and breakfast and then 19km of nothing. Could be very daunting in the Summer from a water point of view. We have perfect clear weather at the moment with a slight high plains chill to the air so hopefully not a problem. Wish us well.
Finally, really appreciate the comments. Really good of you all. Helps no end when going a little tough. THANKS.