Woke up this AM and started walking around 7:00. Parting with five Euros made my hands very happy due to a new set of gloves that almost fit. Most days, my fingers were so coil that unbuttoning the pants created a problem. I walked with some pleasant older ladies rom Canada. They were both volunteers at a local food bank.
I spent about twenty minutes with a Miguel from Brazil. Eventually, I asked about his family and he told me of a loving wife and a two year old daughter. When I asked her name, he told me Helena. He said that being away from the little girl is the hardest part of the entire Camino. On the verge of tears, he said, “It is time we no talk about this no more”.
I walked six miles on an empty stomach. Finding food early in the morning is a problem. I found a tiny store that was off the beaten path. My head did not clear the ceiling. The owner was friendly from the start. I asked if there was a bathroom, and he took me to his personal residence. It was attached to the store. In a moment of panic, there was a knock on the door. I replied “una momento por favor”. A hand with a roll of toilet paper appeared as quickly as it disappeared. There is a god.
For food, I procured bread, banana, apple, a mystery pan dolce, and an almond cookie. Completely alone, I sat on the concrete by the store. After taking my shoes off, the food began to nourish my body. The heat from the sun was very nice and the sounds of roosters crowing and dogs barking interrupted the silence. To date, this was my most enjoyable dining experience.
For some reason, there were not many walkers on the Camino today. I played leapfrog with one man for most of the day. Even though we were on the same trail and about the same time, I kept thinking that our heads must be on different planets. Every experience is unique.
The trail is marked with four common markers. The main one is a yellow arrow. I have seen this beauty on trees, concrete, rocks, signs, telephone poles, buildings, and at least 15 more surfaces. In the darkness of morning, there is significant comfort in seeing the yellow arrow. I told you of a pin that was a gift from an older lady. It is a tiny yellow arrow that now resides on my Tilley Hat. In the cities, there are several types of clam shells that complement the arrows. Some are metal and rise above the ground. Some are carved into the concrete. The third is a “monument” type marker that is about three feet high and usually has a clam shell too. The last is a simple white line above a red line for Camino Frances.