Belt of Ambition – Legidos to Calzada de Coto

 Walking the Camino is not only great for the mortal soul, it’s also quite the boon for the old waistline too. I’m half way through the camino now (boo-hoo) and it looks like Ive lost around 4 inches off the waist. Before leaving Barcelona I punched two holes into my only belt (I’m a poor pilgrim, don’t judge me!), more in hope than expectation, and both have now been reached and surpassed. As I prepare to add another aspirational hole to the belt I am reminded that I’ve now turned the camino corner toward home, and even if it’s still three weeks away, what the hell am I gonna do when the daily walking has finished?!

 My body and soul has adapted itself quickly and with great thanks to camino life and I was thrilled it did so, but I really do not want to go back to sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day, working on a project that doesn’t inspire me and gradually gaining back all the weight! Walking the camino is the best life I can imagine right now! I suppose it’s still some way to Finisterre and quite some time still to work out how to keep myself happy, fit and healthy back in Barcelona. Walking the camino is a great reminder that every day really is a choice. A choice to stay in a relationship/job/situation that really could be changed at any moment. There’s really no excuse to be unhappy once you comprehend your own power.

 I must say though, returning to Barcelona certainly has some appeal right at this very moment. It’s Friday night and I’m in, what surely has to be, Europe’s most boring village, in the outskirts of Europe’s most boring city, Sahagun. I’m sure there are some pleasures to be had here but they’re not obvious to my eye. Clarisa is making a huge salad for everyone in the Albergue right now and the other pilgrims are providing the ‘postre’, God pray they bring some vino tinto with them too and we can liven up this one horse town.

 Today’s walk was another pretty straight and simple 25k from Ledigos to Calzada de Coto. It’s here, walking from Palencia province into Lyon province that you can find the most abandoned projects from the 2008 financial crisis. We saw several notice boards proudly stating the works to begin in Marzo (some month) 2008 on deserted sites, proudly touting how many millions would be spent, but sadly, the projects never got off the ground. Further into the walk we found more half completed public works programmes that are just sat in old towns, half finished brick buildings spoiling the landscape and gloomily serving as a constant reminder to the ambition of the Spanish State. It’s a strange feeling to walk past these abandoned projects and amazing to think we are now 7 years into the ‘crisis’. Whatever that means.

 I’m really looking forward to arriving in Leon! Real food! Museums! Bars with more than 3 people in them! We’ve booked a rest day that I am forced to take in the Parador de Leon on the Monday night so tomorrow and Sunday we have no choice but to make up the lost ground of lazy ‘teen’ km distances of the last week and put in two solid high 20km days. What else are weekends for?

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