Day 16 – El Camino – Fromista to Carrión de Los Condes

Fromista to Carrión de Los Condes, the four of us usually wait awake in bed until the first person gets up, most of the time it’s me.

~5 hours
nothing in particular
hot and dry and sunny for most of the day; late afternoon became overcast but still dry and hot
– Albergue: 5€

At 5h15 my alarm went off. Another fifteen minutes later the second alarm went off, but we slept through. However, we woke at 7h00 and the dorm was already empty.

We started getting ready, and I was the last out the door. Matt called out, ‘twenty five minutes!’ I took that to mean how long we had before we left.

The night before we spoke about walking the next twenty kilometers to the next town, our bus day would be the day after.

Turns out they had booked a taxi to take us to Cárrion de Los Condes, where we anticipated getting a bus to Léon at 11h51. Fixed price by destination, 25€, which worked out to be 6€25 for each of us four.

We went to a bar for breakfast and I put my laptop behind the bar to charge it. As we left I couldn’t find my phone charger cable – it really surprised me that I could be so careless and lose something. Later on at the albergue, I unpacked everything is found it neatly tucked away! Lucky I’m a careful packer, just sometimes I forget how good I am at that.

We went to the bus stop and asked for bus tickets at the bar next to it. The guy told us the next bus was full and the next available one was at 22h00. We decided to stay in the town overnight and get the first bus out in the morning. 11€50 each and we had our tickets in hand.

The municipal albergue had a massive line out the front at 12h00, so we decided to check out the next albergue called ‘Espiritu Santo‘. It is an albergue run by nuns.

As we produced our Pilgrim Passports, a nun asked if Sam and I were married! This is the second time we have been mistaken as a couple. Don’t get me wrong though, there is definitely lots of love!

Later, the bells were pealing, seven rings announced the hour and also the start of the concerto. Isaac Bustos, a classical guitarist would present a free show in the church.

We would like to remind you that the notes do not stop, so we have left the doors open at the rear of the church in the direction of Santiago so that the notes will prepare and carry you ahead along the path. Buen Camino!

Afterwards I went to mass. It was a nice service, all in Spanish. I followed along well enough, it’s the same format as in Australia.

At the end of the mass, the priest asked all the pilgrims to come up to the front to receive a blessing. The Augustine sisters had gifts for us, paper stars to carry to Santiago. They prayed for us as they made each star.

The priest called out all the European countries, then went on to the English speaking world. As each country was called out a number of pilgrims would raise their hand to acknowledge that they were from that country. I was the only one from Australia.

At the end of this, the priest asked if he had missed any countries. A man piped up and said ‘Portugal.’ Oops!

Then the priest laid his hands on each of us and prayed for safe passage to the end of out pilgrimage. Afterwards we sang a hymn as we looked towards the patron saint of the Camino, Lady of the Way.

I came back to the hostel to rejoin the others, who I found in the kitchen preparing dinner. It was quite a good stir fry, considering the choice of veggies available to us at the Supermercado.

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