Just about everyone had left, not that there were many there to begin with. Though I could have had a lie in, I woke up automatically at 6.45 am. I pottered about writing texts to family before packing up. Though a short walk, I wanted to leave before the sun got too high in the sky. I am already quite brown and I didn’t want to get any more burnt. As I re-packed my bag, I realised that the heat of the sun had melted my bar of chocolate so that I had chocolate smeared throughout a pocket of my pack. A-ya-ya! I had to try to get that out, picking out dried bits of dar chocolate. It looked like dirt in the ground. I hope it didn’t attract to many ants. 

The walk was very pleasant. Though warm, it isn’t as hot as it was yesterday. I learnt yesterday that the hottest time of the spanish is day is between 2 pm to 5 pm. I realised that I was very lucky not to get heat stroke from yesterday’s effort. 

I sat at the bar in San Nicholas when Sheila walked in. She had stayed at the albergue in Terradillos and said it was very nice. We had a pleasant coffee together and then set off at our own paces to walk alone. I was soon joined by Claudios from Brazil. He’s a fast walker and is covering distances of 40 km. I joke with him that I’m his rest break since my pace is so much slower. It’s a pleasant conversation till we reach the Virgen Ermita, the geographical centre of the Camino. Wow! What an achievement. 

I got into my Albergue Viatoris early and they let me have a bed. I rest a bit, jump online before deciding to venture out to take a look around town before siesta. I pass by a bullring, which looks pretty dodgy with loads of posters on it. As I also cross a bridge over the railway, I wonder if I should skip a stage and take the train to Leon instead. But I don’t want to. I stop by the Office of Tourism and get a map to the town with suggestions of what to do. The suggest I get the Carte Peregrina, a medieval looking certificate that congratulated you for reaching Sahagun and wishing you well along the way.

Cool. I’m off to get that. I walk across town to the old section to see the old churches and some of the ruins. It’s amazing to me how large the community here must have been but now it is nothing. One church or monastic building is in ruins and another church is open but is part museum. It’s sad to see the number of pews reduced to two rows of five, all organised in a higgledy piggledy fashion. I take a few pictures and get a sello.

I’m glad I’ve forced myself to have a slow day. It’s given me a chance to poke around, and to pick up a compostela.

Today seems to be a day for meeting new people. I meet Ernesto from Italy and we have a wonderful mid afternoon and then dinner conversation. He takes a picture of my foot with my blister. He’s fascinated so I show him the other picture with my giant blister before needling. He’s funny, and we laugh. 

Around my bunk area, I meet Christa and travis, both of whom I’d met at Boadilla. And Chris, a Dutch woman who’s going to take the train to Leon because her feet are swollen.

Say no more

Half way point
  
wow, i’ve come a long way!
    
This marks the entrance to the monastic area. how grand it must have been.
  
Illuminated manuscripts
  
Church of the pilgrims
  
Romanesque decoration if church. how amazingly intricate.