Last night, some fellow walkers asked me to go hear the nuns sing at a night service. The pews were perpendicular to the rows of nuns. 16 nuns sat in unique chairs and were separated by an aisle. They looked like motionless mannequins until the bells rang at 7:00. At that time, they all reached for their books and began a chilling chant. Soon a priest appeared and I realized this was not “nunstock”. Instead, it was an actual mass. The service was in Espanol, so it as very hard to follow. Like my trip to Harlem with Roberta, I was only there to hear the music. They sure made some miraculous notes.
I left Leon (Pop. 130,000) headed to Villar de Mazarife (Pop. 800). The previous night had streets crawling with people like ants at fountain of honey. The morning was completely silent with the exception of the clacking sticks hitting the cobblestones. My newest friend was a young man from Japan named Tomeo. The language barrier was significant. The bigger cities are crowded and people who do not seem to be happy. While walking with Tomeo, we greeted most strangers with a standard, “Hola, Buenos Dias”. In a village, this is always met with a smile and usually the magic words… “Buen Camino”. Mr. T. had the perfect comment on the lack of response from the city people “no good face”.
Met Simon, pronounced Sea-Moan, from Holland and Jon from the UK. We were all so happy with the day. Enjoying the walk and soaking up the warm sun created a feeling of complete contentment. We shared belly laughs while telling good stories. They joked about being away from their women (400 yards) and dared me to steer them down a different road. Again, belly laughter. I stopped to pee, Jon joined his wife, and Simon went ahead. When I caught up with him, he was smiling and singing a tune. Priceless.
Like most things on the Camino, when I use my music, the songs seem to be perfect for the moment. Occasionally, I skip a tune, but never search for a specific song. I brought 600 with me. Today’s first song was The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin. It is a seven minute masterpiece and I heard it three times in a row. When I listen to music, I really listen.
I am currently at a very cool Albergue named Albergue de Jesus. There are 4 beds per room and each room is a different pastel color. The walls are covered with words and art from pervious tenants. I will be lucky to take less than 100 pictures.
Based on 1153 steps per KM, my actual steps on the Camino will be 909,717. I only have 340,145 left.