Distance: 13.9 kilometers with no real elevation gain (8.63 miles).
Short day today. We can't go farther than Calzadilla de Los Hermanillos since the next town after that is 15.4 miles away. Well, technically, we could do the whole thing in one stretch, but we certainly wouldn't enjoy the experience. We've found that 16 miles at a time is our "happy limit" and about 12-13 miles at a time is our "very happy limit." More than 16 hurts our feet and less than 12 feels deliciously easy.
Alex has three red and swollen bug bites on her hands. We walked through a swarm of what we thought were gnats a couple of days ago, but these look like mosquito bites. At first, I was afraid we'd slept with bedbugs somewhere, but Sage and I are 100 percent fine and I haven't seen signs of bedbugs at the albergues (and I've been looking). I bought some anti-itch cream at a Sahagun Farmacia to soothe the irritation.
Gorgeous walk today. Simply gorgeous. The sun was out and the breeze was cool - perfect for walking. The Camino splits a few kilometers past Sahagun; one can go along a main road toward El Burgo Ranero or take an old Roman road to Calzadilla de Los Hermanillos. We took the Roman route, and we highly recommend it.
A small amount of photos from between Sahagun and Calzadilla de Los Hermanillos...
There are two private albergues and one donativo albergue here. We opted for the first albergue you encounter when you come into town from the Camino - Via Trajana. Rooms here (and in the other private albergue) are more expensive than we're used to - 15 Euros a bed here and 20 Euros a bed in the other one - but the rooms are exceptionally cozy, clean, and just all-around nice. Since I'm now splitting the costs with Hugh, I can afford this. The donativo looks fine, but I thought Hugh might like a private room for his Camino re-entrance; he's probably still getting over jet-lag.
We now sit outside the albergue and wait for Hugh to arrive. He had to take an early afternoon train from Leon to Sahagun...I am not sure whether he is taking a taxi from Sahagun or riding his bike along the Camino.
Wait, here comes a biker..the girls have run out to meet him...I certainly hope that's Hugh because the girls just knocked that pilgrim clean off his bike...yes, that's Hugh!
We're all fed and caught up.. Hugh's happy to be here and he brings good news...he bought us tickets to see Pink! We LOVE Pink! We are seeing her at Boston's Fleet Center in December. This will be the girls' first concert...and it's going to be fantastic. We adore Pink and we are very excited. What a fantastic surprise. Thanks, Hugh! We can't wait. (We're happy to see Hugh regardless of the tickets, of course.). :)
I've received some questions about budgeting. Here's what's worked for us - our budget is 10 Euros each for the nightly pilgrim's menu, 10 Euros each for a bed, and 10 Euros each for breakfast and snacks/lunch. That's 30 Euros a day each, or 90 Euros for the three of us. We almost always spend less than this -- we average 70 Euros a day.
You'll often be able to stay somewhere for 5 or 6 Euros instead of 10, and you can buy food at a grocery store instead of eating out, so you can definitely go cheaper if you want/need to. However, it might be best to budget 30 per person per day anyway...this way, you'll have some wiggle room. You could save up for the occasional private room and you'll have money for those little extras when you need them (toothpaste, Vaseline, etc). Unless you're staying at posh hotels every night or eating items that aren't on the pilgrim's menu, I doubt you'll ever need more than 30 Euros a day for one person.
Hope that helps!
We walk (and Hugh bikes) to Mansilla de las Mulas tomorrow. It'll be a 15.2 mile stretch over what Brierley describes as "the most perfect extant stretch of Roman road left in Spain today." This means we should see original rocks in their original settings. Excellent. The only potential downside is that the weather is supposed to be less than ideal - lots of wind and lots of rain. We'll see what the day brings.
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