Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Day 19 Carrion de Los Condes (20.5)

Another alpine start today.

Definition: alpine start - Mountaineering term for when climbers begin a mountain ascent in the early hours of the morning, usually around 2 or 3 a.m, so that they can avoid falling ice and rocks when the sun heats the wall during daylight hours and so that they can maximize climbing time, particularly in a good spell of weather, and reach the peak summit and return to camp before nightfall.

Of course if I'd opened the shutters the head torch is not needed as of course it's daylight and the pilgrim train had long left the station. Any way it's an early start.

Short day today in fact shorter than expected. Due in the main Spanish mapping standards. My hypothesis is that the national school of cartography was destroyed in on of the civil wars and they never got around to rebuilding it. Ever since cartography has been less of a profession and more of a pass time. Consequentially maps vary in there measure of distance by up to say 15% and towns sizes and worthiness of being included are somewhat arbitrary.

The morning light was soft and there was frost on the wheat. No matter how early I rise I don't actually wake until 9 so quite a few of the arbitrarily dimensioned Kms passed in a semi sleep state. This was quite pleasant as sleep has evaded me for the last couple of nights due to constant coughing (last symptoms of the ebola lite).

Two coffee stops later and we arrive at the days destination well before midday. Carrion De Los carries has an outdoor gear shop (handy tip for those of you considering this pilgrimage) this is where I filled in the time between arrival and the habitacione (room) being habitable.

The town is quite active with a few locals out and about (ok hiding in bars) at all times. Couldn't face another figgin bocodillo (sandwich, foot long with cheese and ham) so passed on lunch and punched out a few hours siesta. Kathryn has, alternatively, disappeared for a pedicure something I considered but as Canadian Deb pointed out you need toes and nails for a pedicure. Also I didn't fancy I'd be that relaxed listening to the tune of the therapist dry retching.

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