After taking in a beautiful sunrise we walked on into the Meseta and made our way the 25.2 km (or 16.3 mi) to Fromista. We continued on with our plan and our reservations.
About half way through that day, I began to notice that I kept feeling like I was getting bit by something. As we wandered into Fromista and checked into our hotel, I realized I was covered in flea bites. They itched like crazy!!! It felt like fleas were continuing to bite so Michael and I began to research what to do. We learned that Europe has a human flea! YUCK!!! And apparently they can live in clothing. We researched more and found out that all of our clothing needed to soak for about 2 hours to flush out any of the fleas that may have infested our packs or clothing. Unfortunately, that hotel room only had a shower. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night.
The next day we headed out and walked the next 20.5 km (or 12.2mi) to Carrion de Los Condes. It was another hot desert day and the flea bites continued to drive me nuts! We arrived at the hotel early enough and I remained hopeful that we were going to be able to clean all our clothes and have no more flea problems. We soaked our clothes and hung them to dry all over the room and balcony. As we headed to dinner, we saw a dark thick layer of clouds roll in. I felt a sinking feeling as I realized that our clothes would not be drying this afternoon. The humidity surrounded us as we ate dinner and watched the rain fall. It was an incredible storm. And ignited something in Michael and I. Shit had to change. This was pure misery.
The next morning we awoke to thunder, lightening, and the deafening roar of rain pelting the street and hotel. We were done. LIke officially done. We slept in that day and wandered to the bus stop. We ended up buying the last two tickets to the next town, as many other pilgrims also decided not to walk that day.
Arriving in Sahagun soaked, tired, itchy, and drained we knew something had to change. As we walked arround town that afternoon, we found an Irish pub celebrating Octoberfest. We sat and drank a proper pint of real beer. It was incredible! None of this super light Spainish crap, we had Paulaner. And as we drank that beer we realized, we were in the wrong country. We were two introverts on an extroverts vacation. We were two therapists who got paid to make uncomfortable small talk paying money to do the uncomfortable small talk with no real relationship building or goal in mind. What the heck were we doing?!?!?
The next day, feeling fresh and having gained a sense of clarity, we boarded a train to Leon. The last major city on our journey. We sat next to another pilgrim who shared our sentiment that the Camino was like Disneyworld. Everything fake, planned, paved, and expensive. The three of us exchanged information we had learned along the way, including how the European union subsidises the Camino and even plants specific types of trees to “add” to the trails. It all became clear. This was never going to be the romantic wander in the wilderness we had hoped. It would never be an untamed adventure filled with discovery. It was Disneyworld with a lot of walking.
We settled into our hotel that night and bought airline tickets from Madrid to Frankfurt Germany. We canceled the rest of our reservations and began to dream of real food, real beer and the potential to see many places we had dreamed of seeing.