Today we walked 16.4 miles (26.4 km) in 9 hours with breaks.
We started the day with a couple of easy, short sections and the standard mid-morning break for coffee and snacks at a bar/cafe in one of the little villages. Then we had a longer section to the town of Sahagún, which felt like a big town to us but really only had a population of 2,800. We had a long lunch there and then continued on down more endless gravel roads and through a couple more small towns. After a long, hot, and sweaty afternoon we finally made it to our destination for today, with a vow to get started earlier tomorrow and take shorter breaks to avoid some of the time in the heat.
We’re realizing now that the main challenge with the meseta isn’t necessarily the monotonous view — the fields are actually quite pretty in places — but it’s the super long stretches of gravel road that look exactly the same for hours at a time. We start off feeling great in the morning and then struggle some days when the afternoons get hot and drag on forever.
Kathey thought she was getting tanned today until she showered and realized it was just dirt.
We’ve also discovered that when the going gets tough, each of us turns to a particular food item for a little extra help. For Lisa, it’s really good espresso. For Kathey, it’s definitely chocolate. For Ted, it’s the ever-present bocadillos — ham and cheese sandwiches on crusty bread. And for me, only ice cream will do. :-)
Here are the photos, starting with yesterday’s, since I wasn’t able to upload them until now.
And the photos from today: