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Clothes pegs: the currency of the Camino

P1000444Many of the “essential packing” lists I consulted before leaving for Spain recommended taking clothes pegs or large safety pins. I ignored them all, figuring I’d get by without the extra few grams of weight and oh, how I came to envy people their pegs!  I could only drape my essential laundry over the wires with a serious risk that it would be blown into the dust.

And at Tardajos I was late in getting my laundry done. The fierce drying heat of the sun had faded by the time I had hung it out so had to leave the next morning wearing wet socks and underwear. Not a great start to the day.

It had been another entertaining evening though. An old, long-bearded, pilgrim called Pedro (who referred to himself as Bin Laden) hung around the dusty outdoor bar area with his dog for a few hours. He had done the Camino nine times, he said, walking both ways. Eventually, after tipping a tin of dog food onto a newspaper for the young lab, he set off into the night.

P1000467In the morning it was time to set out on to the glorious meseta for five days of vast open spaces, searing heat, little shade and spectacular walking.

Many people had written about hating this stage of the road. I was sure pretty soon that I was going to love it.

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