Terradillos, a tiny town of about 75 inhabitants and home to two separate albergues, marked our half-way point on the Camino. our guidebook offered some flowery language on the “humble life” found in this village “thankfully bypassed by modern life” and the N-120 which might bring it … some residents might not agree with that observation but, perhaps, all those residents have already moved to the larger cities.
origins of the town lie with the Knights Templar near the time of their downfall in the 13th century. the albergue in which we stayed was named in honor of the last Grand Master of the order, Jacques de Molay, who died in 1314, seven years after Pope Clement V dissolved the Order. however, despite the fact that there are now two albergues, one named after the head of the town’s benefactor (the Order), for hundreds of years there wasn’t an albergue in the town — peregrinos would have to halt their journey earlier in Calzadilla de la Cueza or continue on to Sahagún.
despite past ambivalence towards peregrinos, the albergue in Terradillos was pretty great. we arrived with enough time to secure two bunks, but filled the last two slots in a room and ended up on top bunks on opposite sides of the room. a sight above the last bed available in the albergue — a mattress on the floor in the hall; a bed, yes, and better than sleeping in the hall at your average tourist hostel, but still not as good as a bunk in a room with a door away from the bathrooms. our peregrino dinner was more communal than usual; there were a limited number of seats inside, dinner started promptly at 7:00 p.m. and they closed the door once everyone was seated. (in most towns there were an array of food options, all the seats at peregrino dinners didn’t fill up so we often had a table to ourselves.) we found ourselves sharing the table with three Germans — a retirement-aged couple and a single middle-aged man — and a guy from the Vancouver/Seattle area (and now I don’t recall if he was from the U.S. or Canada). it was a nice change for Andy to be able to have a conversation with someone other than me — with the opportunity to practice his fluent German, to boot! it was a prime example of some of the best the Camino has to offer in terms of interacting with an array of people you’d never encounter otherwise.