Stage 14 – Grajal de Campos to El Burgo Ranero, 23.7 km

I stayed up late as the music commenced to bounce around the walls. It was an ideal opportunity to catch up on responding to comments. I don’t often get time to do this, as by the time I have posted my blog and eaten some supper it is usually time for lights out and I don’t like to disturb others with the light from my screen. Can I just say how much I appreciate all the comments I am receiving – they really do brighten my days. Thank you and please keep them coming, even if I’m not able to respond.

I took myself to bed around midnight and plugged into three episodes of The Archers – one episode is normally guaranteed to send me off, but not on this occasion. The music, just a couple of metres outside our bedroom window, varied between thumping techno disco, and thumping live band. The windows were vibrating, the bed legs were vibrating, my very soul was vibrating. I guess I did drift off from time to time. At one such moment (with the aid of ear plugs) I was startled awake by one of my camigos shouting out in their sleep for help with an imaginary creature that had jumped up and was biting them. I was still awake when the music stopped at precisely 06:27. It was cold outside and I doubt that many hard-line party-goers were still enjoying the entertainment, but nevertheless it persisted until the allotted time. It must be soul destroying for these guys to perform, usually with scantily clad young women singing away, for a mere handful of (probably) drunken youths. This same performance will be given by different bands for two further nights. The town has a population of 300 people. I have never been able to work out how this expenditure by a tiny village can be justified, but you’ve got to love Spain for their determination to throw a party.

See this photo of the enormous speakers of the disco stage with our bedroom window peeping out to the side.

But back to business…the day started quite chilly but sunny, with the promise that we would soon be stripping off our outer layers. However that didn’t happen. The sun didn’t quite make it out from behind the clouds for many minutes a a time and a cold breeze picked up.

We are still on the meseta with long, straight, flat tracks through crop fields. We walked for just under 7 km when we reached Sahagún where the Camino de Madrid meets the Camino Frances and immediately there were pilgrims in all directions, many walking with only small day packs, having sent their main pack ahead by taxi. We were still walking along a flat track between fields of crops, but now alongside a road, albeit not a busy one. We didn’t encounter a bar until Bercianos del Real Camino at 16 kmwhere we stopped for a hot drink.

The wind really picked up and it was quite cold until we reached El Burgo Ranero where we are staying at Albergue La Laguna. I reserved beds for us and was delighted to find that we had been allocated a room at the end of the dorm with four single beds. Very comfortable mattresses, and sheets and pillowcases provided. 12 euros. The dorm has 16 places in bunks and there are three showers and two loos between us all. There is a large kitchen/dining area but not really any facilities for cooking. The hospitalero offers a machine wash for 4 euros and we pooled our clothes for a communal spin. The wind soon dried them all in the very lovely garden. What a pity it wasn’t warm enough for us to grab a sun bed and take a siesta!

We ate a menu in the restaurant Piedra Blanca which was very good for 10 euros.

Now to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Today’s distance 23.7 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 111 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 39 m
Total distance 364.6 km
Average per day 26 km

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue
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15 Responses to Stage 14 – Grajal de Campos to El Burgo Ranero, 23.7 km

  1. Janice Tyler says:

    You must have been exhausted! I know how loud those bands can be xx


  2. Mary Lynch says:

    Sleep well dear Maggie that was an unfortunate night you had. It must have been a shock to you all to discover many other pilgrims when you hit the Camino Frances we were all enjoying you having the Camino Madrid to yourselves. Buen Camino and much love xx


  3. I agree it is hard to follow and respond to comments, especially when someone asks an interesting question that you want to answer. I joined the Camino Frances in Astorga for one night, at the end of my walk in mid-April. It was fun to pop in to that route and its social atmosphere for a brief visit.


  4. Have a good sleep. It’s bad enough coming up from the village but outside your window I’m surprised you managed to drift off at all. You’re spoiling me with you shadow photo. x


  5. Anita Lopez says:

    Brought back memories today, of our time on the Camino Frances. We had no sleep in Najera because of a fiesta, they were still partying when we set off walking. Also the bar in Bercianos del Real Camino looks familiar I think its where we stayed Hostal Rivero. I’m really enjoying following your journey, buen camino.


  6. stevebarry4sympaticoca says:

    Thx for another great post Maggie. My camino finishes in Sahagun, but I’ll continue to follow yours. As you say elsewhere the CdM is where you find out the kind of Camino you want. I did CF in 2014 and have since wondered if I should do the Brierly-35 in something like 50-60, one of my deep regrets being trundling by so many wonderful sights due to sheer fatigue. The price may be the camaraderie. Buen camino.


  7. I do not envy you the culture shock of ‘hitting’ the CF. I experienced that a bit on the Camino Portuguese and was wondering, ‘who are all these strangers on MY walk??’. Hopefully you can catch up on some much needed sleep somewhere along the line. Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks so much for another visual itinerary. Can’t imagine how you could have had the energy to walk after all the music noise. I know how that can be in Spain… Continued blessings along your Camino…


  9. Maggie, I love reading your posts just so much, thank you. I’m thinking of walking part of the Camino Portugeuse in 2017, but every time I read your posts, I want to walk from Madrid. 2018/9 maybe? In 2012, I walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela and 2016 from Le Puy to Conques in France, then from St John Pied de Port and some stages towards SDC, all wonderful! Now I think I’m hooked!


  10. caminojakke says:

    Hi Mag!

    Just to let you know I appreciate your blog to the point where I take time to read every day. I myself am on the Via de la Plata with ca 350 km done. Your remarks helped me decide I’ll take the Sanabres.

    Buen Camino!


  11. Amanda de klerk says:

    Hi Maggie! Those speakers next to your window! Oh my word, you are brave souls, coping with that kind of intrusive sound throughout the night! Hope that the journey still surprises and inspires you…..I love reading you posts and am glad with you guys when the rain stays away or you find that nice warm shower or good bed. Buen Camino !

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ingridfolkers says:

    Maggie…have been in awe…I so hope the weather is more civilized by end of May.😉 I really could use some warmer weather. Ultreia


  13. Peter says:

    Camino Frances, good for daypacks and touregrinos 😉 How would you compare the crowdiness of the Frances to our first one in 2013, comparable or worse? Last year in September it was very crowded, but that was a holy year, curious if it is less crowded now. ¡Buen Camino!


  14. kristina wilkening says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I have been following your journey. Sorry I haven’t acknowledged your blog. I am really enjoying it. Makes me want to do the CM, too.
    I am impressed that you have the energy to write after walking all day. But also must be nice to sit and be quiet and enjoy being creative, too. Hopefully you have a glass of vino in your hand while relaxing and writing. Haven’t heard too much about the vino yet. Ha.
    So nice to have such amicable Camigos to do the walk with. I think that makes all the difference in the world.


  15. Carsten says:

    Hi Maggie!
    Didn’t have wifi some days and forgotten to write on others. So – after too many days – here some greetings from Ralf and me!!! We are in Luarca right now. Had a really laaaazy day of only – shame, shame, shame – 15 km. 🙂
    The break here at the harbor got longer and longer and finally we just stayed.
    It is a shame, that we didn’t meet again after Segovia. But there will ne other Caminos!! Hope you guys are doing well! We decided to skip the Salvador….but the bus drive from Leon to Oviedo made absolutely clear: this one has to be done some other year!!! What a true beauty that landscape was….wow!! Enjoy the trip and we are looking forward to see snd read on your blog.
    We lost Dave on the lost day before Sahagun … so @Dave, if you read this: hope to meet again on another trail…has been a pleasure to walk with you!

    We will see again, Maggie…after the Camimo is before the Camimo!! 😉


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