To Calzadilla on the Via Aquitana

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The breakfast in the morning was sumptuous and we were able to stock up as planned. Soon, we were out across the omni-present N-120 into the countryside and onto the Via Aquitana, built over 2000 years ago.

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Walking on this seemingly endless road through the countryside gave me another opportunity to contemplate the probability that the Apostle James had to have walked here if he was in the region, because this was the only road there was. Greg and I stayed together for most of the day and stopped to eat at a roadside picnic table after about four hours. This also gave us an opportunity to get our boots off and dry our socks in the bright sunshine and let our sore feet get some air. My blisters were getting worse, so I added some additional tape across them for extra padding. I planned to visit a Farmacia when I arrived in Sahagun to see if I could get any remedies that might help. I was moving slowly, so Greg took off ahead and soon I lost sight of him.

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Three hours later, a gradual downward hill brought me in to Calzadilla. At a water fountain on the outskirts of town, I found Greg sitting there talking to some fellow pilgrims from Massachussetts — a mother and her adult daughter, who were both nurses. They thought Greg looked like Harrison Ford, and we all joked about that. He wouldn’t hear the end of that for a couple of days. Another young woman was also at the fountain and appeared to be on the verge of heat stroke. Greg advised her to get some lighter clothing on and go to shorts if she were going any further. Soon everyone was on the way. Within minutes, we located our hotel on the back side of Calzadilla. The place was buzzing, because it was the only game in town. Just up the road was the alberque that was also owned by the same family. We checked into the room and found that the WiFi worked only downstairs. Time to tell everyone back home that we were fine.  After showers, I headed to the bar and accomplished my Facebook posts there while enjoying a cold beer. Soon the Irish couple showed up, and I asked if I could buy them a drink to finally thank them for the use of their phone a few days ago. They graciously consented and we enjoyed a good time of fellowship. They recounted their adventures along the trail the past year and what they had experienced this year. Pat told me about his blister experiences from last year. In Santo Domingo, there was a local “blister doctor” in one of the alberques who was treating everyone for donations. Pat said that he received a great treatment of lancing and bandaging that saved him for the rest of the walk, until of course his wife suffered her knee injury. I began to think that I might need the same treatment, but where would I find it?

When it was dinner time, we were all herded into a main dining room to sit at long tables and given a choice of a fish or meat dish. Greg and I sat across the table from each other and to my left was an Austrian guy who was quite conversational. He had limited English and his companion spoke no English. Once again, my German came in handy and we had an interesting conversation about Ancient-Future Faith. He was fascinated by the experiences we had in the formation of our church in Sacramento. I gave him some information about our web site and invited him to visit there to get more information. To my right was an Australian man who introduced himself as Richard. When he found out that I was American, he told me that they, the Australians, had our back in the war. I thanked him, thought of asking him “which one?”, but he was involved in another conversation to his right with some other Aussies and a girl from Norway. After dinner, people filtered out to the bar and kept the party going. Greg and I hit the sack and had no trouble getting to sleep, as usual.

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