Day 12: Tardajos to Hontanas

It snowed this morning as I began my walk across the Meseta. Tiny icy flakes blown in from a far off shelf of clouds; the sky above me was blue. A cold wind blew all day. I walked bundled up in my coat and gloves, hood pulled tight around my face.

The Meseta is the high cental plateau of Spain; the Camino Frances crosses this tableland from Burgos to Astorga. The horizon spreads across your entire field of vision, broken only by piles of rocks pulled from the seemingly endless fields and a scattering of wind turbines. Tiny villages are tucked into the few shallow isolated valleys, hidden from view until you are on right on top of them.

Walking under this wide open sky, I felt small and exposed. Yet, it occurred to me that with vulnerability comes an openness that we do not often allow ourselves to feel. Walking the Camino necessitates a willingness to expose oneself physically and emotionally to new challenges every day, to be vulnerable. This is often an uncomfortable experience, but one that can have great rewards.

Tonight I will sleep in lovely little Hontanas, in an albergue owned by former pilgrims, with church bells for my alarm clock in the morning.

Today I walked 13 miles.

2 thoughts on “Day 12: Tardajos to Hontanas

  1. Antonio Machado live for 5 years in Soria, an ancient city of de highest meseta (plateau) of Castilla. He was a french lenguage teacher. He wrote the book of poems Campos de Castilla (Fields of Castilla). (You are walking these days through Castilla, don´t forget it). This is a short poem of this book:

    “Soñé que tú me llevabas
    por una blanca vereda,
    en medio del campo verde,
    hacia el azul de las sierras,
    hacia los montes azules,
    una mañana serena.
    Sentí tu mano en la mía,
    tu mano de compañera,
    tu voz de niña en mi oído
    como una campana nueva,
    como una campana virgen
    de un alba de primavera.
    ¡Eran tu voz y tu mano,
    en sueños, tan verdaderas!…
    Vive, esperanza, ¡quién sabe
    lo que se traga la tierra!”


    “I dreamed that you wore me
    by a white sidewalk,
    in the green field ,
    to the blue of the mountains,
    toward the blue mountains,
    a serene morning.
    I felt your hand in mine ,
    your hand companion,
    your child’s voice in my ear
    as a new hood,
    as a virgin bell
    a spring dawn .
    Your voice and your hand ,
    dreams , so true ! …
    Live , hope , who knows
    what the earth swallows !”


  2. You made a blustery day seem beautiful. From hug your writing, this sounds like a very emotionally moving walk. Congrats on another successful day. Keep on truck’n. Love you, Dad


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