I knew today would be a hard day especially with a blister underfoot. Plus I needed to cover nearly 26 km to reach Carrion des Los condes. I don’t know what it means in Spanish but the name makes me think of vultures. And walking along the road, with the heat bouncing off the pebbles, it certainly felt like vulture territory.

There’s a river path that you can take. It provides much more shade and is more natural in its scenery. But it adds another 1.5 km. I was meeting Jan who had a 7 km head start on me by ending in Fromista the day before. I decided to take the road route to shave some time.

It’s a pretty grim route, broken up only by the sounds of cars speeding by and my music. To say I was sweating like a pig is an understatement. It was only about 30 to 32 degrees. But with no wind, it felt like much, much more. I’m not sure how pilgrims do this in the height of summer. All I know is that by the end of the walk, the sight of the hotel Real Monastario de San Zoilo could not be more welcome. I was constantly dreaming of putting my very hot feet into cold water. 

I walked too fast than I should, and probably one town too many than I ought to have. So I wasn’t surprised to find that my blister had spread under the Compeed. It kinda told me what I needed to do. Stay another night and not walk the next day. I needed to deal with the 2 blisters on my left foot. 

Once Jan and I were ensconced in our room, we tended to the usual – shower, laundry and this time, foot care. Such activities would not be undertaken amongst friends at home, but on the camino, footcare is paramount. This includes deep heat oil massages, needling blisters, squeezing blister juice, plasters everywhere, swapping ibuprofen pills, and clipping toe nails. It’s not attractive but this is when you get a hotel room to do this. It’s s bit cleaner than otherwise. 

Having drained both blisters, I left them open to the air to dry out. Fingers crossed, it heals enough for me to start walking the day after.

After a nice lunch, we had a siesta, then a wander to visit the museum next door. Sadly, the monastery no longer exists. But it’s interesting to see the structure and imagine what life might have been like. The San Zoilo church was lovely. It wasn’t as ornate as other Spanish churches but was still intricately designed. High roofs, vaulted ceilings and carved wooden furniture. 

Then off for some tapas and tinto, and then bed. I felt so spoiled when I had 2 pillows and could sleep in the way I normally do at home. This plus the luxury of fluffy white towels, deep baths and no strange men in my toilet area all helped to remind me of life before the camino. 

Plus fantastic wifi connection that had allowed me to close the gap on my days and upload photos!

Sculpture of a girl pilgrim. Yay for girl power

   

Not quite half way, but hettin there.

 

The view for 18 kilometres.

   

A mudejar ceiling

 

Iglesia San Zoilo
 
Golden high altar
 
Sacophagus from under the church dating back to 12th century