Friday, November 6, 2009

Carrion de los condes to Sahagun

Had breakfast with the 'French quartet'. They are such a solid little pack and have developed a great dynamic en route. I've seen them adjusting to support the individual needs of each member-one of the guys carrying a bit more gear allowing one of the woman to travel light for a day or one of them, seeing that another is tired, making sure to build in a good few more 'stop and enjoy the scenery' breaks.
The inspiration for their journey was a promise made by one of the guys that he would walk the CF if he made it through his battle with cancer-which he did.
Having complimented Frances on her french 'which is almost without accent!' praise indeed we started to chat. In the course of the conversation we found out that one of their children had been on exchange to Glenstal and 'was able to speak french to one of the brothers there who as well as being fluent was also an inspirational speaker" I asked them if Mark Patrick Hedermann was the brother concerned and indeed it was!

They were delighted to be told about his recent and historic election as Abbott, and of his having to lose his status as Brother and be ordained as a priest in order to assume that role. We all regarded the fact and that my husband had recently stayed in Glenstall to make a documentary about Mark Patrick as just another example of Camino serendipity.

I was mugged by Sahagun, not literally but visually. I don't know what I've been looking at for the last couple of days but I was certainly shaken out of my stupor by this town. Brick and sun and the baking heat implied by both booted me out of of my cool, damp, celtic comfort zone. Now, as a person with warm brown hair (red), I'm feeling uneasy with the hot pink, orange, brown and terracotta intonations of the town-I'm having the cultural equivalent of a hot flush and its almost as inconvenient and upsetting.
When you're walking you register changes slowly-the shift from heavy slate roofs and thick stone walls to tiles and stucco-from narrow deep lanes sunk between fields to wider level tracks on high ground. Most of these changes are incremental with various hybrids gently bridging you from one tradition to the other. And these changes are often matched by the ebb and flow of the flora and fauna in the environment. However sometimes changes can be inexplicably sudden-from stone to stucco across a a small river or over a little hillock and when that happens, and you are running on Pilgrim time, that shocks and unsettles you. All the careful pattern recognition you've built up over the last few days is worthless, and you now have to learn the basic templates again. I was mugged by Sahagun she stole my blindfold and made me look at the world anew.
San Tirso Sahagun
Siestas play an increasingly important part of our days. I enjoyed an exquisite riverside 'snoozette' late this afternoon
Riverside siesta beside Puenta Canto- Sahagun
I'm getting the hang of these novelty shots now. Sahagun is the halfway point between Roncevalles and Santiago. So as we started in SJPP we are over half way Hurrah!

Frances in front of Archo San Benito-beside Benedictinas Santa Cruz Sahagun

Katherine and Nell in discussion.

Nell, Gunda and Katherine having early breakfast in Sahagun.

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