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Day 29 - Disappointed, saddened

Sat 14th Oct., Calzada de Valdeunciel to El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino, ~21 klms

I must start today's brief commentary with a statement from my heart. It's an Australian politico-social statement, and I ask the forbearance of those readers from other countries.

I am disappointed and saddened that the Australian people did not see fit to approve the change to our Constitution in today's referendum. White Australia had nothing to lose; black Australia had much to gain. The 60% of you who voted no would seem to have done so based on a decision continuum starting with ignorance or misinformation, influence from the Murdoch and other right-wing press, fear, political posturing, through to outright bigotry or racism. A very few may have made a decision based on principle, but since I heard no clearly articulated principles to support a 'no' vote, I can only assume that all those other factors were the key drivers, and principles were few.

I make no apologies if my words offend those who fall into the 60% group. You have nothing to be proud of; in time we will look back and see this as our Brexit moment.


Let me now return to the Camino.

It was a reasonably easy 21 klms. The challenge of that distance is no longer the distance per se, as the legs and heart are strong, but a certain level of same-sameness as a result of putting one foot in front of another for several hours when the world around changes little.

Not that the world was uninteresting, just unchanging. Calzada de Valdeunciel, last night's village, is very clearly a significant agricultural town. I make that judgement based on the number of tractors and assorted agricultural equipment we saw throughout the town. This theme followed all the way here; we walked alongside significant holdings all day. Some freshly ploughed, some sunflowers and corn at the ends of their lives, some with leafy green crops I couldn't identify, and some with what seemed to be newly germinating cereal crops.

A few annotated photos follow:

Calzada's Iglesia parroquial de Santa Elena

The Calzada de Valdeunciel town hall. Clearly there's money in town

Through the fields. Adios ...

The photo doesn't do it justice. Endless rich fields.

The end of the sunflowers

This factory/plant/storage facility is huge. The red and blue storage crates on the right stood twice as high as the truck next to them. The big white/blue building probably stands 10/12 metres tall, and who knows how long?

More endless sunflowers. Maybe their black heads are bowed as they anticipated today's vote.

For much of the day we paralleled the big A-66 which runs from Sevilla to Gigón, and its neighbour the N-630, our almost constant companion since Sevilla. After a while I stopped hearing the cars, buses, RVs and trucks whizzing and roaring by at up to 120 kph (about 116 faster than us). But they are a reminder that life necessarily goes on, both commercial and recreational, at a pace well in excess of that of the Camino.

Entering tonight’s wonderfully named town

We're presently sitting at Bar Hernandez, chatting, well sort of, to Juan, an agente inmobiliaria from Sevilla. He has little English, and we obviously have just as little Spanish, but it's been a nice chat for an hour or so. He's walked 12 caminos, in part to switch off from work, with this the first time on the VDLP. He's married with three daughters (18, 14, 12). Here's his blog, which I'm obviously going to need to translate -

We've re-jigged the walk times a bit. A big day tomorrow (31 klms through to Zamora, in three hops, 13/5/13) then a three day break. Luxury, once we get there ...

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