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Observations on the Meseta, September 2019

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (by train) 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

1570830534651.png

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). My arrival in Logrono (for the 4th time!) felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 16 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing time in Sahagun and Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem with either.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no big bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did the last time I walked the Meseta (2015), and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me this time! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but not one was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a breathtaking cathedral view! Carrion - San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount...

Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their very-organized public morning devotions in Fromista.... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

Especially moved by the the Pilgrim Mass at the Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and by joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.) Not gonna retire -- yet.

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really...

Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen (@#!$%&#!@!) as I started down from the Alto de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Realizing that I might never again be so free as I was that last beautiful, tranquil evening on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon.... Wistfully remembering Camino friends that I will never see again....

7. Do the Meseta Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely.... Can't see ever doing the whole thru-hike, either ... Getting older, have aches and pains that don't go away, and all that. ...

But I do hope and pray that I have another one or two Caminos to walk. ... Not least 'cause ya'll just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!
 
Last edited:

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65706

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary mediative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks.The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport huttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless.... Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in re work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...Weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ... Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter. Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth it! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue). Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full...

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining a la terraza, everywhere, everyday ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!).... Working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, again.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-qualty menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again... Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Bussing back to Madrid, to fly home....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experiernce! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. But I hope and pray that I have more Caminos to walk. Pax!
Wonderful.

Thanks for posting.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
You look pretty fit and young so it is hard to imagine you not being able to do many more caminos. That said, perhaps there are other ways you want to spend your energies.

Buen camino any way you choose.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Will be in Fisterra tomorrow and will send you a long message when I get home on the 22. Too hard for me to write much on the phone. I loved our visit in Santo Domingo!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections and for writing this very interesting post. I enjoyed it a lot since your post is so honest and positively thought provoking. Reading other pilgrims thoughts and reflections is great a source for learning and broadening one's understanding of other people with other backgrounds. To me it's like their life experience kind of "come dancing from their hiding places between the lines". It makes one think.
I was especially caught by the fact that you had chosen to walk the Meseta. I like all parts of the Caminos but the solitude, the vastness, the distant horizon with the mountains and the quietness of the Meseta has a special place in my heart. It gives the Pilgrim time for reflection, meditation and the opportunity to dwell on thoughts and memories. Good and bad. We don't have that time so often in our modern life with all our obligations.
Like some of the others I don't think you're finished with the Camino. If you don't come back physically you will undoubtedly visit the Camino again and again in your thoughts in the years to come.
I wish you a good trip home and look forward to, hopefully, hear more of your reflections when they settle further in your mind and spirit.
 
Last edited:

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Sorry I missed you on your pass through Moratinos.
If your retirement plans take you south of the the border (to Mexico) I know a little congregation in Oaxaca that would love a Misa once a week!
 

Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
Thank you so much for your post!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013....2014....2015.......2017...2018...2019
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
Like you I too love the Meseta,and since the big 70 arrived I have limited my Caminos to that wonderful piece of magical Spain.I have recently returned from Burgos to Ponferrada and it was perfect.I too have now made life easier by booking ahead etc as you did ,and believe " if you are in the position to do so, do it ".I hope you do get to walk again,and if you do it in Sept.then we may even meet as I am all ready planning my 2020 walk.Buen Camino.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
What a wonderful post. You brought me with you in the Meseta...a part of my own very first Camino this spring that I am particularly looking forward to. May good health keep your feet walking wherever you choose to go. Thank you so much for this oh so lovely share. It was such a pleasure to read. Ultreia ❤
 

peckahad

Member
Camino(s) past & future
walk in sept 2019
I am in Sahagun now. Started from St Jean on my 77th Birthday. Meseta has been the favorite part of my Camino. Used age to get second night at the Monastery. Love this city. Of course I am here October 12 a National holiday in Spain. They are not celebrating Columbus’s discovery of America.
 

JudeD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago "2016"
SJPP to Burgos "2017" Burgos to Hornillos "2018" SJPP to Finisterre "2019
I loved reading this and absolutely echo your thoughts on the Meseta. 6 weeks since my return from walking SJPdP to Fisterra and now looking back, the Meseta was the most special part of my Camino. I've walked as far as Hornillos before and also the last 100kms, so partly because this section was a first for me, but also because it was so easy to just be in the 'moment' and walk in that wonderfully meditative and contemplative way where I really feel I gained most in my spiritual understanding. I know I'll be back and I'm 74 so don't ever say never!
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
What a fabulous story. Thank you.
 

GailGwyn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your reflections. I walked the Camino Frances in May and there's not a day goes by that I don't long to be back on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
Thank you for this post. I have had some issues lately, both physical and emotional, and am 76. I was actively contemplating walking from Burgos to Astorga this month. I had just about talked myself out of it, due to time, cost etc, until I read this post. I have walked the Meseta twice and I think this is just what I need. It is amazing the messages that come to you just when you need them. Thank you once again as you have caused all sorts of memories to bubble up out of my subconscious
 

mary_mh

Buen Camino
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept (2019)
Can't not post something -- feeling the need to debrief!

View attachment 65709

1. Goal: Walk from Logrono to Leon again, attempting something of a solitary meditative "retreat" to seek guidance on possible retirement from active ministry, and to reclaim something of the "Pilgrim Experience" of earlier walks. The Meseta (I've walked it before) struck me as the perfect venue for that. Worked out well.

2. Getting There: Flew into Madrid via Delta from Atlanta. Uncomfortably small seats for a man with long legs like mine... Arrived Barajas Terminal 1 and shuttled (free!) from there to the ALSA parada at Terminal 4 ... Terminal 1 was OK -- but had a kinda 1970s feel vis a vis wonderful Terminal 4. Next time I'll pay extra and arrive wonderful Terminal 4. Airport shuttle worked perfectly, btw, my worries about it were needless....

Then ALSA bussed (cheap!) direct from Barajas 4 to Logrono. Almost empty bus, very comfortable, spectacular mountain scenery between Soria and Logrono. (Big fan of Spanish bus travel!). Arrival in Logrono felt like coming home.

3. The Walking: How blessed I was to be able to do this! Gave myself a not-too-hard 18 days, which included the obligatory sightseeing day in Burgos... Of course, I would like to have done more, but I'm very time constrained in my work situation. ... Shipped my bag ahead, using first Caminofacil and then Correos, never a problem there.... Best one-day distance was 33 km! Which is pretty darn good! (You can go far and fast with long legs and no bag!) ...The weather was better than I could ever have expected it to be! Cool clear days, mild breezes, almost zero rain! TBTG! ...

Walked slower than I did in 2015, and stopped every chance I got to rest my old bones, explore the local church, sit lazily on the Plaza Mayor, grab some ratty red plastic chair outside a bar and button-hole the passers-by, yadda yadda.... More walkers than 2015, I think, more reckless/thoughtless bike riders, many more women, more Koreans, not sure about more Americans....

4. Accomodations: I'm 65+, snore, value my privacy, can afford cheap private rooms, and don't have to prove anything to anyone but myself! Albergues? Been there, done that, so it was cheap private rooms for me! Booked everything ahead - thank you booking.com! Now, some of the cheap rooms were, well, cheap - but none was unacceptable, and I never had a bedbug encounter.

Indulged in upscale digs three times, and each time it was absolutely worth the money! Burgos - Meson del Cid, where my room had a cathedral view! Carrion - Monastery of San Zoilo. And Leon - Hospederia Monastica Pax (Good place to end on! Next door to the familiar downtown albergue).

Incidently, encountered several instances of "Bed Race Fever" among those who had not booked, epecially noticable in Najera, where more than one person came to my ("completo") cheap hotel complaining that the albergues were all full... God help us in 2021!

5. Highpoints: More than I can recount... Dining al fresco, everywhere, everyday, loved it! ... Breakfast at the Tio Juarvi overlooking the Logrono embalse, and chatting with El Peregrino Pasante once more.... Meeting Forum Member Sparrow in Texas for conversation on the promenade in Santo Domingo de la Calzada... . Enjoying the Cuesta de Matamulas view of Hornillos again... Leaving a note this time at San Anton... Watching a busload (Loved it! Bless em!) of German pilgrims at their public morning devotions in Fromista.... The Pilgrim Mass at the Santa Cruz Madres Benedictinas Chapel in Sahagun, and joining the good sisters (possibly the HIGH point of my entire walk!) for sung Matins the next AM... Buying (should have bought them earlier!) boxes of Spanish 600 mg ibuprofen in Sahagun and again in Mansilla de las Mulas (Yeah!)....

And working out a satisfactory old-age-deal with God in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Leon Cathedral.... (We argue, God and me, but we always make up.)

Oh - and no tv, radio, newspapers, politicians, talking heads.... Positively therapeutic!

6. Lowpoints: Not too many, really... Serious back pain crossing the Tierra de Campos - (see above reference to lifesaving ibuprofen! Get yours today!) .... Mistaken decision not to take the riverside path from Fromista to Villalcazar de Sirga, as I did in 2015.... Not sure whether missing the Fromista canalboat was a plus or a minus.... Too many disappointing-quality menus de dia.... Dropping my phone on the concrete walkway and shattering the screen as I descended from the Alta de Mostareles...The Bar Elvis in Reliegos was closed, again...

Remembering Camino friends that I will never see again.... Reflecting that I might never again be so free as I was that last evening, on the Plaza Sta. Maria del Camino in Leon....

7. Do It Again? Spectacular experience! But a repeat is unlikely - don't have enough years left.... Health issues, and all that. ... But I hope and pray that I have one or two more Caminos to walk. ... (Not least 'cause ya just can't get good Caldo Gallego in Dixie!)
Loved reading this - thank you for posting!! Inspiring 🌺
 

Sharonn

La peregrina lenta
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Camino Frances 2019
Thanks for this post. We love the meseta too. The camino is a great place for a retreat. A place for reflection and gaining new perspectives. Walking, thinking, praying. May you enjoy the next phase of your life. And if it includes retirement may it be blessed with peace and good health.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Like you I too love the Meseta,and since the big 70 arrived I have limited my Caminos to that wonderful piece of magical Spain.I have recently returned from Burgos to Ponferrada and it was perfect.I too have now made life easier by booking ahead etc as you did ,and believe " if you are in the position to do so, do it ".I hope you do get to walk again,and if you do it in Sept.then we may even meet as I am all ready planning my 2020 walk.Buen Camino.
I loved the meseta too, although the year I walked it the weather was execrable. Funny thing is, I have heard people say they thought it boring and tedious, as something that has to be endured as part of the whole experience. Everyone is different. My own viewpoint, which I suspect largely mirrors that of the Rev, is that the vastness and and solitude of the meseta is one place which engenders humility and spirituality.
 

Lucyev

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July 22nd (2020)
Thank you. I am preparing for my first Camino next year, and your post really moved me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Still looking for that after-action report!
Hello, Fr. J.! It was such a treat to meet you and share a cold drink in Santo Domingo!

My report got lost in the disarray of arriving home and doing all the things that one must do to settle back in, including reassuring the dog that I had not been gone forever. It was a wonderful trip even with a few less wonderful things thrown, the driving rain walking over that last mountain between Lires and Muxia and the chinches in Atapuerca. Like you I had a lot of back pain, my feet, however, were great. With help from two kind gentlemen along the way and the taxi driver who lectured me in Spanish, I finally had to accept that I would have to use pack transport for the remainder of the trip. I am still wobbling but getting better.

This was my monastery trip because I saw some significant ones, Canas, Suso, Yuso, Miraflores and more, such history! Muchas gracias to the Spanish gentleman who showed me the path through the woods to get to Miraflores! When I got tired of looking at churches I went to yet another monastery, the Museum of the Galician People in Santiago, a must see. It was fascinating and well worth the time.

The very best lentejas on the Camino, according to the proprietor the only lentejas in Finisterre, is in the bar with the little boutique across from the bus stop in Finisterre. In Santiago there is a bar with the best gambas al aujillo that have just an extra kick of red pepper.

Before I left the country I had a day in Madrid to visit the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art, specifically to see Picasso’s Guernica. There was a group of young school children gathered around to see the painting. What do you say to children about that horror, and yet so many children in the world live it daily? I ended the trip with lunch at Botin, widely regarded as the oldest restaurant in the world. My parents ate there 60 years ago.

Recently I saw notice on the forum about the Camino de Faros but I will put it on my list of what I would like to have walked!

Next year I might play tourist around Madrid and visit El Escorial, Segovia and Toledo.

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