I had it all wrong. The idea that Spain is a sunny country does not hold true. Or at least the Spain I am walking through is not. After two days of a fierce wind tempest, the expectation was surely a cloudy day but at least a bit less windy.
I pulled out all the clothes I have and wore them all, in layers, including two hoods under the hat. Reality as usual was much worse. At 6am, the streets of Carrion were deserted as expected but already swept by a merciless cold wind blowing at impressive speed. To make things worse, it blew coming from the West so against my direction.
For a moment, I figured out the reason for having drafted the pilgrim icon like a man leaning forward and hanging on his long walking stick. The reason is the implacable wind. How could I ignore the ubiquitous wind turbines in the land of Don Quixote and the windmills? For sure the massive investments in sourcing eolic power is not driven for once by a political reason. The wind is the real inhabitant of the mesetas and whoever (like me, and probably another couple of thousand pilgrims) is not ready for it can have a not so pleasant experience. Particularly so like today when it kept blowing no stop for all the 6 hours I was on the road, and continued until late bringing eventually some serious rain showers. The blessing has been that it started raining when I was finally well under cover in the Auberge, and after having taken a steaming hot shower and lying in bed under a pile of blankets. Oh, the happiness of the simple basic things has no equals.
Along the road, the cold reached all the bones and joints. The fingers were numb and it took me always a lot of determination to take out my hands from the rain jacket pockets even for taking out a paper towel to blow my nose. I also did not want to pee fearing that the wind would have blown all my private parts into pieces.
Every hour or so a police patrol passed along the unpaved road with two truce policemen looking out. I was not sure whether their mission was to help pilgrims in anguish, or shoot down the crippled and incapacitated ones.
I took no pictures today as I had a lot to do to fight the self-pity and the desire to quit at once. Despite all these demons to keep at bay, I completed the stage to the end. The sole concession to my human nature was to enter in the first bar found open after 4 hours of uninterrupted walk under the described conditions and wolf down a huge portion of mushroom tortilla with two chorizo sausages. Actually I felt better, and considered also that I skipped dinner last night and also breakfast since I was not in the mood to eat at 6 am. I should take into account that the reserve of energy of the fat in my body is not the one that gets immediately utilized. That is, I could probably die for exhaustion, but still round and fat.
Here is a self portrait when I finally managed to fumble my fingers on the shutter.