Camino de Santiago, Day 18
Ledigos to Sahagún 10.5 Miles
This article is the sixteenth in our series of walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago with my husband Scott. Some articles will be only about one day of walking, and some may include a few days of walking, for the lengths will vary. To begin with the first article click here.
We stood at the edge of town on the side of the highway, just as the sun came up. There was an arrow directing us straight and an arrow directing us to the right. I spoke with another pilgrim and she wasn’t sure which way to go either.
Scott and I decided to go straight since it looked to go through farmland and not along the highway. Hopefully we would end up in the town of Sahagún, which was our goal for the day. We were ready for a short walking day and thought it would be fun to stay in a bigger town.
Rolling Fields of Farmland
We walked along dirt, farm roads for most of the morning, passing through a few small towns. Up ahead was a hostel with a cafe, so we decided to stop for coffee and a flakey, chocolate pastry. The hostel was new and clean and we wished we had stayed there!
Just across the street from the hostel we saw several bodegas on a hill. Bodega definition per dictionary.com: From Spanish bodega, a wine shop;cellar.
The bodegas were built into the hillside in the shape of a circle. Each family had a door to access their own bodega where they would store wine and other items. Northern Spain is a huge wine region, and families have bodegas going back many generations.
250 Miles Down, 250 Miles to Go!
Just before we arrived at the town of Sahugún, we came to a monument dedicated to the pilgrims as the halfway point of the Camino Frances. We were so excited, and couldn’t believe we had walked 250 miles already. It was hard to imagine all of the places we would see and people we would meet in the next 250 miles. Not to mention, all the wine we would drink as well.
Now that it was Day 18, we were pretty tired. Our feet ached and we were ready for a short walking day.
After 10.5 miles, we entered Sahagún and went in search of lodgings.
Scott and I split up to walk the streets, and I found a small Hotel Rural. We met back up and went into the hotel to check it out. The host showed us a room, but we weren’t impressed. It was tiny, dark and had no character at all.
We moved on to a Hotel Rural that Scott had found and they had a wonderful room for us. It was on the second floor with french doors and a balcony looking out into town. We needed to return later because it wasn’t finished being cleaned.
Down the street was the main town square where we sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax. I was looking at a map of the town and trying to figure out where the Arch of San Benito was. Scott had gone inside the cafe to find a snack, so I asked a local man to help me with directions. He was about 50 years old and smartly dressed in a black blazer and orange slacks. He didn’t seem to understand what I was asking him and he just stared silently at the map.
Just then our server came over and shooed him away. I had the feeling the man was a little bit off. He sat down at a table near us and began to chain smoke cigarettes.
Later, Scott and I went to see if our room was ready. I was standing on the street corner in front of our hotel, and as I looked across the street, there was the man in the orange pants watching me. Quickly I turned to see if Scott was around, but he wasn’t. I looked to see where the man was, and he had crossed the street and was walking toward me. I didn’t want him to know where we were staying, so I started walking down the street toward a group of people.
Scott joined me just then, and I told him about the orange pants man. We kept moving and didn’t see him following anymore.
Seeing a Bit of History
Because our room wasn’t ready, we did some sightseeing. We saw the Arch of San Benito, from the 12th Century. It was part of the remains of the Monastery of San Benito. The arch was actually the front door of the church originally. If the arch was this big, the church must have been huge!
We ran into Ted and Eve from Texas. They were taking a short day and sightseeing as well. Eve’s knee was doing a little bit better and she was going to get a massage to see if that would help even more.
Meat For Lunch
While we were walking the town, it became siesta time and the streets suddenly deserted. It was so quiet, no one was around. We wondered where everyone went and if they were really resting?
Of course, this is the time we decided it was lunch time. Luckily, we found a bar serving a few food options. Scott and I enjoyed a plate of meat and cheese. It was delicious.
After, we went to our room, cleaned up and washed two days worth of laundry and hung it on our balcony railing to dry.
You would find us most afternoons with our feet up, checking in on Facebook to see what everyone was up to back home. We had to elevate our feet every day so they wouldn’t swell. We enjoyed the nice weather with the balcony doors open, even if our view was partially obstructed by our hanging laundry!
Orange Pants Encounter
Later in the night, we went to a cafe on the town square for dinner. We sat on the patio and watched all of the small children playing, and families congregating on the benches, talking about their day.
The man with the orange pants sat down at the table next to us and stared at me while he chain smoked. I didn’t feel afraid of him, but I was uncomfortable. I told Scott that I wanted to eat inside the restaurant and I went to see if there was a table available. Thankfully, there was. We sat down and I looked out the window and the orange pants man had come up to the window and was peering inside looking for me! Yikes! How weird. He did leave and we never saw him again, so all was well again on the Camino.
Ted and Eve ended up joining us for dinner after they had finished mass. They tried to go to evening mass in every town they stayed in. We had good conversation, good food and good wine. It was a nice way to end Day 18.
Day 18 10.5 miles.