A glimpse into the journal I kept for all 38 days on the Camino Frances, including up to 10 photos (not necessarily the best pictures but more that they represent that day in some particular way). Today is day 21 – May 11th. Terradillos de los Templarios to Hermanillos de la Calzada

Breakfast at the albergue was crappy as usual – at least it was different crappy pastries! …

Great weather today – cool morning, bright sun. Unfortunately, the walk took me along the road again so in went the iPod. When the Hamster Dance song came on, all was well in my world again. …

I passed the giant official half way marker just outside of Sahagun! Can’t believe I’ve made it this far and can’t believe I’ve reached half way already. …

Sahagun looks like a lively town and if it weren’t 10:30 in the morning, I’d have been tempted to stay overnight here. Instead, I walked past restored medieval buildings and churches (closed, of course), saw a giant market (seemed to be mostly clothing), and took a break at a bar that had Shania Twain’s “Man, I feel like a Woman” playing on the sound system. Excluding the ridiculousness of the song choice, it was a cool bar – dark inside with a few locals scattered around. I took a seat near the back and had my usual morning snack. Took a chance and left my bag unguarded while I ran for the bathroom. It was still there when I returned. Success! …

This stage is where the Camino splits into two for a little bit. I chose the route that seemed to have less pilgrims walking down it. I don’t know why it seemed to be less popular since it is also along the via romana, which was enough for me to choose it! The walk was quite isolated and I didn’t come across many others at all. At one point, I had to take a rest as my feet were hurling abuses at me. I found a tree that had nice shade and I sat. Took off my shoes and socks and elevated my feet onto my pack. I think I crushed a plant as I smelled something like juniper.

By the time I reached Hermanillos, I had done about 27km for the day. The hospitelera who runs the albergue is French. She told me I could tutoyer her, which is the fastest anyone has told me that I could switch from vous to tu

The newly married German couple I’ve seen off and on over the past few days seemed to have gone their separate ways – they must have separated at the split earlier today. Hmmm… I spent the afternoon as usual, exploring the town. It is small and isolated but doesn’t seem poor – lots of nice big houses here as well as pieces of Roman era architecture. …

I chatted with English Kate who I’d met several days ago. I told her about the Parador at which I was planning to treat myself in two days’ time in Leon and she was willing to split the cost with me. I called the hotel and got a pilgrim’s discount of 90€ for a room – not too shabby a price for a room at a 5-star hotel!

Back at albergue, where we are locked in for the night, I’m the only one in my quad which is actually kind of creepy.  …