Niggles and nibbles
Fromista to Sahagun
Distance travelled: approx. 60 km
The morning irritability settled on us again today and as we rolled on for miles on the flat route devoid of variation, so it rumbled over us. But we cycled on, taking the time for ourselves, exchanging broken English-Italian-Spanish conversations with other cyclists on the route, cyclists who were travelling 100 to 150 km per day and were pushing onto Leon!
The wind swirled today, pushing against my legs, threatening to whip the wheels from under me. I was exhausted but we pushed on through village after village, not stopping to rest for food until Ledigos, some 47 km from our start point. There, a cycling group told us of their journey from Barcelona and how they had ‘happened upon’ the Camino. Carrying only day packs and travelling on road bikes, they were pushing onto Leon too; could I? 70-80 km further?
I ate at the café, averting an energy crisis – I was already shaking and grateful for the stop and the jamon and queso bocadillo!
Too quick to judge
Sahagun was, to be honest, ugly, its industrial entrance depressing enough without the low grey clouds hanging above us. I wasn’t keen to make this the end of my day but my legs were. Taking the wrong road (oh, such a familiar story!), we missed the route lined with hostels and cycled the town in search of a bed.
We found Hostel Escarcha; it seemed deserted but a passing elderly couple were insistent on helping the tired pilgrims, pressing the buzzer and holding it down until the proprietor arrived, speaking to him in rapid fire Spanish. The old man told us the place was lovely and though there was a derelict air about the bar, the room was clean and the shower hot.
Despite my reservations about Sahagun, my initial reaction to the grime of the freight trains and the impoverished, graffiti lined walls, I found I had been too quick to judge. It echoes with the prosperity of its past from the 12th Century monastery to the arch of San Benito…as I looked in awe at the ancient buildings and the fragments of the past, I wondered what people would be looking at 200 years from now. Will there be anything that stands the test of time from a generation so intent on change?