As we woke up in our cubbyholes, we realised that the main door to the bar downstairs, and the exit, was closed. Were we locked in? … but earlier pilgrims had made it out… Or had they? Turns out the bar/café doesn’t open until 7, and there is a second door leading to a corridor that takes you out to the street, we just didn’t want to break and enter. Not that I was looking for the exit yet, I was firmly in the market for a coffee and something to eat first. A large café con leche and a chocolate croissant later I packed up and left as it was getting light – I don’t walk in the dark.
I could see someone in front of me, but most from La Morena had already left. So I crunched along on my own, assuming I would catch up with people in the next stop, a second coffee at Terradillos. But it was closed. So I carried on past the very bling Jacques de Molay albergue, where there were no pilgrims either, to Moratinos, where I sat down for an Aquarius.
I was the only one there and it was so quiet and lovely I stayed there a bit. Next watering hole is San Nicolas, where even Socrates admits the second bar is cool, and who am I to argue with one of humanity’s greatest minds? I felt like a little second breakfast at this point, so I got a yogurt and an artfully carved slice of lemon. Delicious – Socrates was right.
From there it was another 7 kms to the larger town of Sahagún with no more stops. Nothing else to do but keep crunching – at least the sky had clouded over and looked like it wanted to rain, so it was nice and cool even as we approached the afternoon. Suddenly, as you come to the top of a hill you don’t really notice is there, you can see the town below.
The trail crosses the busy road and leads you into a little wooded area with an old chapel and these carved stone bookends marking the half way point of the camino (from Roncesvalles I believe but don’t quote me on that). You can also get a half way certificate in town, this was moved from the Virgen Peregrina to the municipal library for now, probably due to covid.
I heard someone whooping as I came around the corner into town, and there was a small band of familar faces – David, Laura, Yarin and Nicole – sitting outside a hotel enjoying anchor refreshments, so I joined them. I have never been met with my own theme tune before! After a while I realised my home for the night was only two doors down, and Laura noticed they served vegan food, so we moved there and had a lasagna lunch before scattering to shower, pick up the half way certficate or find a farmacia.
In the evening we gathered in the square for drinks to say goodbye to young Linda and her Dutch walking companion, who had to go home, and our young Israeli friend had already left on the train to fast forward his trip. It is always so sad to see people leaving, but it is never goodbye on the camino, it is auf wiedersehen, au revoir, på gjensyn – we’ll meet again.