Wednesday, 16 April 2014

No Dandelions

Wednesday:  16.04.2014
Fromista – Bercianos Real Camino  74.8km  141m
We passed a comfortable night and promptly at 0730 we were seated, waiting for breakfast. The orange juice was freshly squeezed and delicious; the rest has to be described as meagre – two small pieces of toast, one sachet of jam and one of butter and a single cup of very good coffee. But generally not quite enough.  If my Spanish existed at all, I might have asked for more and probably we would have got some.
The actual ride today has been the least momentous thus far. It has been uncomplicated, warm and relatively flat with vast tracts of fields on either side of the route and snow covered mountains in the distance.
There's a lot of them about
( I think that we may have found the only place where the dandelion does not exist. I have scoured the verges and hedgerows for just a hint of a yellow dandy but to no avail. I really thought they were set to take over the world! Obviously not in northern Spain.)
On the other hand, churches are two a penny. All shapes and sizes but absolutely everywhere. Mostly, it seems the villages have grown around the church in an entirely higgeldy piggeldy fashion. We are passing this night in one such village. In fact, I am trying to write this blog accompanied by the sound of several groups of very pissed Spanish elders, playing, I know not what, except that it requires much roaring, shouting and outbursts of laughter.
We had planned on spending tonight in Sahagun but made the wise decision to proceed further towards Leon so making tomorrow a little less long. Very glad we did as

Sahagun was not a pleasant looking town and this dutty village feels so much more genuine. Anyway, if you can’t beat ‘em, (the locals I mean) then join ‘em so we did and partook of a beer or two. Sitting next to us was a French lady (not pissed) who had carelessly misplaced her husband.  So for a time we all speculated on where he might be until a car pulled up with said husband in the back. Much relief and merriment followed although he seemed anxious to justify his absence while his wife just seemed relieved to have him back! (No accounting for taste).
Look Hard-the Next Challenge is There!

Tomorrow requires a traverse of Leon, the last of the large cities that we have to negotiate. The guide books do their level best to be helpful but directions are often vague and misleading so if the sun continues to shine it may be a case of “ Go west young (or in our case, old) man!” We shall see!

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