Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moratinos- or how I skipped 12km of the Meseta!

Really enjoyed staying with the Augustinian sisters in Carrion - they had some shared singing at 7pm, on the seats and in the stairwell, and that was a great event for those of us who joined in. Left soon after 6am this morning as I was expecting a long walk, nearly 30km, longer than my usual day, to get to Rebekah´s in Moratinos.

The Meseta hasn´t been as I had expected, mainly as it has been so green rather than barren, but also because it hasn´t been as isolated. It has passed through quite a few villages, and has often been near to the road. Today started off near the road, but after a few kilometres it moved off away from highway noise. It was quite a long stretch from Carrion to the next village, 17km. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere someone had had the enterprise to set up a bar with drinks and food available, and the smell of a bbq taunting those who never chose to stop! I was one of those carrying on as I had so far to walk today........

In a quiet section of the track, when it felt like Lyne, Denis and I were the only ones around for miles, and the churchtower of the 17km village loomed ahead, we stopped to strip off outerlayers and put on sunscreen. We saw a car appearing in the distance so needed to move off to the side. The car continued towards us slowly, then stopped. The person on the driver´s side asked L&D if they had seen a New Zealand pilgrim called Margaret. Lo and behold, there I was on the other side of the car! Rebekah Scott, had come to collect me! And thus I skipped 12km or so of the Meseta, never ever to walk them, and climbed into a car.

Rebekah is the first fellow blogger I have met in real life. She was a fellow member of the Santiago forum I was a member of before I left for the Camino, and I have read her blog. She lives in Moratinos, which is a small village on the Meseta. Moratinos seemed so awfully far from anywhere when I saw it on a map before coming into Spain. Now somehow, it marks a point nearly halfway along the Camino Frances, and does not seem like it is so far from everywhere!

Rebekah and her husband were on the way to pick up rubbish in a picnic area known to get messy. When we got there I took a rubbbish bag as well to help soothe my car-guilt! (Not real guilt: after 1100+km I feel no guilt!) What amazed me was how many pilgrims we passed as we drove back along the track. It had seemed like L&D& me were the only ones for miles!

And I have been enjoying Rebekah´s hospitality here in Moratinos. We talked for a while, then had lunch. I have only just woken from my siesta in a proper bed with sheets! And my bedsheet and a few other clothes have had a wash in a real washing machine! I felt like I could have slept the whole day through....but it is a lovely afternoon here now and it is time to explore the village a little....

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