Yesterday was a tough day. I was exhausted and mentally drained for most of the day. Early in the day, I ran into my French friend named Olivia. Without planning, we have ended up staying at the same place every night. He shared his breakfast (9AM) which was dry bread, chorizo, and sangria. I am walking around 30 KM per day. Towards the end of the day, I walked with two women from Washington. One was 70 and the other was 65. The older one decided to make the trip about two years ago. The younger (and at least 50lbs overweight) decided to come about a week before the trip. Pretty damn impressive!! 70 had some remains from her lifelong friend that she plans to dump into the Atlantic at Finisterre. This was done in the movie (The Way), but her idea predated the movie. We took the last 3 of 25 beds at the Albergue. This was very lucky as the only options were another 10KM or to sleep outside. Many people were turned away. 70 had a nice pin on her hat and I gave her a compliment. At the end of the night, she gave it to me. We had a family style dinner of pasta, salad, and ice cream. The place was outstanding.
I started the trip with a natural walking stick that was way too big and heavy. In Roncesvalles, I bought one. Two days later, I bought a bigger one. Size does matter. On that topic, I am rather popular at the many blackberry bushes since I can reach the untouched ones. Have I mentioned that I’m 6’6″?!
Woke up early this AM and began walking in the dark using my head lamp. The early start allows me to miss the hot afternoon sun. The feeling at sunrise is excellent. Since we are making this journey together, here is a bit of more than you need to know. For the second time in my life, I have had trouble pooping. With mucho personal happiness, 5 days of labor, and no inducement, Rosemary’s Baby became an orphan by a vineyard off the Camino this morning. Enough said.
I have been walking alone for about 90 percent of the time for the past few days. I listen to music for about half the time and the other is natural sounds. While my body hurts, my spirits and mood have been very high for the entire trip. Today, I was listening to a great song and not even thinking when I had my first (in my life) spontaneous cry. Not sure where it carne from, but it was quite overwhelming. It did not last long, but was quite a moment.
I was thinking about my first 5 days today and comparing to life. Now that I am an expert on packing, comfortable in the Albergue, making some miles, and speaking a little Spanish, like a teen I know everything! It will be interesting to see how I look back on infancy in three to four weeks.
Every day, there are three to five moments that send actual chills down my spine.
Having the time of my life!