Camino de Santiago – Spanish Flat and other landscapes

Many of the places (towns, villages, hamlets) I´m passing through look like they just need a horse to even qualify as a one-horse-town. It has been quite the varied landscape on the Camino so far (by the way,  i´m in Villafranca something or other, 1.5 days walk from Burgos).

  1. Spanish Flat – a new term in my vocabulary. When the walk is supposed to be flat ground over here, it isn´t what you and I would consider flat. It is Spanish flat. Plenty of up and down. Enough to make me wonder if there is ANYTHING flat in this country!
  2. Mountains – the big one was the Pyrenees. Absolutely gorgeous but since I live in a valley at home (I stay on the floor, never climb the walls), there were parts of those two days of crossing the Pryenees where I thought I´d died and gone to hell. Nice to know hell is beautiful, though!
  3. Alto – there are many alto here. Peaks not big enough to be a mountain but certianly bigger than a mere hill. Altos tend to trick you – not too horrible going up them but then tend to be rather steep coming down. I´ve started to hate coming down as much as going up. Why? Because of Spanish Flat – where there is a down, you know there is a big up coming!
  4. Mud – it´s everywhere because it is spring. it´s slippery, it´s thick, it gets all up on your pants legs, it adds a ton to your boots (good luck getting it off), and it doesn´t even flake off once dried. And in the region I just crossed, it´s bright red (clay).
  5. Stones, rocks, pebbles, gravel – trails have been mostly this. Adds more stress to the feet and you have to watch where you step so you don´t trip on something or twist an ankle.
  6. Roadways – i´ve had to cross some highways (two lane) as well as walk alongside major roads. Not particularly enjoyable especially since it kind of reminds me that my 40 day walk would take not even 12 hours to drive… But once a truck honked at me. Hopefully it just meant the driver was wishing me a Buen Camino…
  7. Colours – the colours of the countryside are just incredible. Yellows, greens, reds. Poppies and daisies are the only flowers i recognize but there are purple, yellow, and white ones that i´ve seen. One thing I love seeing is a green field go dark, light, dark, light as the clouds pass over the sun.
  8. Villages – many of them are suffering in terms of appearance. Definitely looks like the economic downturn has hurt them. I´m seeing lots of for sale signs, too. There was one planned golf community that seemed seriously empty – it was creepy walking thorugh it. Like the apocolypse had happened without me.

Anyway, still cold here. But I still have a racoon tan on my face. Attractive.

5 responses to “Camino de Santiago – Spanish Flat and other landscapes

  1. I love your description of the different landscapes, my husband and i travelled the camino last fall, no two days the same, in terms of landscape, or weather or views. I remember walking through the golf community, it was rather odd. maybe in the summer it would be busier? buen camino

  2. I wonder if any of those hamlets arose when someone walking the Camino just gave up? It’s sad that the economy has affected the area so much

    You are going to have very muscular calves after all that ‘Spanish Flat’!

    The flowers sound beautiful! I know what you mean about the light and shadow from the clouds! That’s one of my favourite things!

    Good luck and keep moving!

  3. Kendra – drink it all in. Your descriptions sound amazing – can’t wait to see your pics. You are doing so well. Remember, when you’re feeling cool, that the summer walk is, most likely, unbearably hot. Cool walks are more invigorating and Spring flowers are so fresh! Carry on…and please let us know about any interesting culinary experiences – good or bad 🙂

  4. Sounds beautiful but challenging! I can’t wait to see some of your pictures! And I agree with Rachel…you certainly will have muscular calves (and be in great shape) when you return. 🙂

    Good luck dealing with that mud and literal (and figurative) ups and downs!

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