We cross fields of green on a red clay track that winds to the horizon’s azure sky. There’s no rain on Spain’s high plains this week, not in daytime at least, but in places the damp mud clings and is carried ahead, heavy on the boots of the trudging pilgrim army.
Four years on from my first trek across the endless flat Meseta, this is an unworldly time of morning mists, lush crops and diversions with new companions to unfamiliar villages.
In the empty landscape there’s just the constant heartbeat of boots on gravel; companionship over cervesa; secrets shared in a brief collision of lives that leave a deep imprint of sound and touch.
Walking away always takes longer.