Mistaken Identity

I had to grab a taxi from Hornillos to Carrión de los Condes to catch up with Lisa and make up for the days I fell behind in Burgos and Logroño. I arrived in the morning and checked into the Hospedaria del Convento de Santa Clara.

Let me go back in time for a moment. In September 2021, Erin and Don Byrne joined Paula and I on a trip to Italy. While visiting St Peter’s Basilica we learned the Pope was about to celebrate mass. We had to stand behind a security barricade. It we could see some of the lucky folks invited to participate, including a group of Augustine nuns. Later, outside, we bumped into the nuns and asked how they had been so lucky to be part of the Mass. Lucky, they said. They were admiring the cathedral like we were, but they were escorted in as guests of the Vatican. Truly an experience they would remember for the rest of their lives. We also learned that they operated a hostel for pilgrims in Carrion de los Condes on the Camino. We took note of their contact details.

Last week I emailed Don to get the address and I booked a place at what I thought was the Augustine-operated hostel. Only later did I realize that I had booked the hostel run by the Clarines, a cloistered group of nuns who have limited contact with the outside world! A certain Ignacio methodically and laboriously checked me into my room. When I showed him a picture we took of the nuns in Rome, he gave me a cockeyed look. “Those are Augustine’s!” So I did not get a chance to say hello to our friends. Another reason to return!

On the way into Carrión there was a sign saying that there would be a guitar concert that night. I knew that a well-known luthier named Federico Sheppard had a guitar workshop in Carrión and it turned out to be in a room attached to a 12th century church which Federico had leased from the local Bishop and is in the midst of renovating. He builds guitars and has talented young guitarists come and perform there. We heard Sondye, a Norwegian guitarist, play. Federico then invited us for a glass of wine and dinner at the La Corte restaurant. Federico is a bit of a Renaissance man with many tales and a definite opinion on all matters. (You can get a feel by reading an interview with him at https://www.guitarsalon.com/luthier/federico-sheppard).

Federico Sheppard in the 12th century church he is refurbishing and re-purposing as a guitar studio, workshop and concert hall. He spoke of many interesting things he found in this ancient building, including the painting of the crucifixion of Christ (at top) showing an eclipse of both the sun and the moon. He is flanked by a couple of his “Camino” style guitars, with scallop and sword motif on the rosette.
Sondje, the Norwegian guitarist in residence put on a nice recital for us. The acoustics were quite good. He also has a group of students coming for a guitar class.

Today, Lisa and I set out for Terradillos hiking through the wide open meseta. We listened to her morning anthem, Carri Underwood’s “How Great Thou Art”. Villages are few in these stages but we did find a place to stop and have a cafe con leche and rest our legs. Terradillos is a small town so we hung out at the alberge the rest of the day.

How great Thou art.
The meseta is beautiful wide open country, bounded by the Cantabrian mountains on the north and the horizon on the south. The farmers grow wheat, barley and sunflowers in these rocky soils.
Some of you have asked how far I walk in a day. This was from today which represents an average day. It was about 5 hours of walking and half an hour resting.

Tomorrow, on Day 18 of the Camino, Lisa and I will reach the half-way point, in Sahagun.

3 thoughts on “Mistaken Identity

  1. I absolutely love hearing about your days on the Camino and all of your interesting experiences, and interactions with so many people you are meeting along the way.
    I think I will play and sing “How Great Thou Art” several times along my upcoming journey. Stay safe and God bless you.


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