DAY TWENTY TWO: 30 October 2012 from Villalcazar De Sirga to Calzidilla de la Cueza
There is a magnificient Templar Church Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca, in Villacazar De Sirga, town of the canal towpath, a national monument and recommended for its sculptured south door, its rose window and a retablo with a panel depicting the life of St. James. I failed to visit it. Somehow twenty two days into my pilgrimmage I am finding that I am all churched-out. The Camino religiously weddles its way through every little town and village seeking out the inevitable place of prayer. For awhile I felt compelled to enter each one, often loving the sanctuary from rain, the quiet to sit and be but equally finding these spaces musty, cloying and less than alive. I am finding the cathedral like vastness of the world outside a stronger calling to my soul, drawn by its haunting whispers to spread my spiritual wings. I fell instead into the warm embrace of the bar at Tasca Don Camino. I headed to bed under the crystal clear frostiness of watchful moon. As the only pilgrim in the dorm I gathered together a full quota of blankets and huddled up in the bed next to the raditator.
The following morning it was the senda or pilgrim autopista to Carrion de los Condos. Only another 463km. Hard to believe that I am almost half way there. The long stark road walking today is balanced by the magnificient snow coated peaks of the Picos De Europa to the north. I feel like the breathe of magic, of fairytales, princes and dragons. I am curious about Via Acquitana a stretch of Roman road still intact after 2,000 and a note worthy creation in a sparse stoneless area of bog. 100,000 tons of rock was required just for the foundation. Every stone transported in. As much as I tired this marvel of engineering could not keep me from feeling the relentlessness of 17 stony kilometers of endless, featureless road, through flat acres of turned chocolate earth, dotted with minature tractors of all shapes and noises, under the fuzziness of a grey blanket of the sky. The see the mirage of Calzdilla de la Cueza long before I get there, with the determination of desperation I grit my teeth and keep walking until eventually I pull that mirage towards me and it becomes real. A tiny place artfully tucked into a nipple cleft in the land it is as perturbingly enticing as a Welcome Break on a long dreary stretch of motorway.