We’ve planned a rest day for the day after tomorrow, which we’re both looking forward to. The meseta is not physically taxing at all, but I’m growing frustrated with the Camino and need some time to think and relax. I’ve felt like each day is spent just going through the motions, not actively engaged in the journey.

For therapeutic purposes, I wrote some of my specific complaints in my journal. Here they are:
  1. Too many people, leading to overcrowded albergues, and the morning rush – up at 5am to beat all your fellow pilgrims to the next albergue where there aren’t enough beds.
  2. Difficulty forming relationships in Spain. People are always passing you (or you’re passing them), with no more than an hola or buen camino. No chance to talk or get to know anybody.
  3. There’s little time to think for any length of time without interruption, usually by an impatient bicyclist.
  4. Graffiti. Anybody who can’t go somewhere without leaving a mark of their passage shouldn’t be allowed out in nature. It’s everywhere: on signs, in albergues, on picnic areas.
  5. Litter. Not difficult to figure out who’s to blame for empty packages of blister treatment in the ditch by the side of the road.
In short, I’m having a hard time feeling the “spirit of the Camino” these days. I feel it most when we’re around the friends we made in France, and the people we’ve met through them: Lenka, Alfonso, and Dany.

Below: On the road out of Hontanas, walking in a valley for a change.

Below: The ruined monastery of San Antón, between Hontanas and Castrojeriz. For some reason, the Spanish government decided to build a road right through these medieval ruins (Street View).

Below: More wind turbines off in the distance.

Below: Looking back towards Castrojeriz.

Below: Graffiti, the universal pilgrim language. Yes, that’s why they built this nice shelter – for you to deface.

Below: On the meseta, it was usually pretty easy to figure out which way to go.

Below: Doing the laundry in Itero de la Vega.

Below: Itero de la Vega, a typical small meseta town.

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