Top of the World!!

Had a nice dinner with a nineteen year old young man from Denmark named Mikkel. He quit his job helping handicapped children because they would only allow four weeks of vacation. He requires seven weeks for his Camino. Prior to my experience, I would have been more judgmental about his decision. Today, I cannot imagine a better classroom for life’s lessons than this walk.

Eighteen miles into my twelve mile day, the walk ended in O’Cebreiro. Total accrued ascent for the day was 3,600 feet concentrated on two hills over eight miles. The Romans believe that Finisterre was the end of the world and buried their nobles there as a badge of honor. With equal conviction, I found the top of the world on the first hill. The world’s greatest author could not describe and the best photographer could not capture these moments. It was pure magic.

Took a break at the bottom of the hill and spent some time with Kevin (UK) and Jonika (Sweden). Below our rest spot, several people were working in a community vegetable garden. This seems to be a common practice in every village. After 48 years in Idaho, I witnessed my first earthborn spud harvest in Trabadelo, Spain. Go figure.

I heard some very cool sounds yesterday. For several hours I enjoyed birds serenading from above, cowbells (plural for a reason) on the left, sheep bells (same) on the right, separated by water rapidly rolling over rocks below the road. Amadeus would have been proud.

As I get closer to the end, there seems to be some tourist activity. I saw a busload being dropped off for a day walk. In order to get a Compestela in Santiago, people required to walk the last 100KM. I hear the traffic will increase in a dramatic fashion at that point. It is very easy to pick out the newbies as they still have ass in their pants.

Here is a bit about food on the Camino. When lucky enough to find a place that is open, breakfast is usually toast, butter, jam, and coffee. Most mornings begin with an empty with breakfast at the first of second village. There are no chain restaurants and have only seen three fast food joints since leaving the US. KFC in Pamplona, Dominos in Burgos, and Burger King Leon. All food is typically eaten at a Bar. They have no names other than Bar. Lunch is usually a sandwich made of dry bread with ham or chorizo. Dinner is usually a choice of three options for a fixed price. First is salad, pasta, or soup. Second is pork, beef, or fish. Third is flan. From time to time, I stop at a supermarket and just buy food. Yesterday’s lunch was a banana, chocolate ice-cream bar, corn nuts, and an apple.

Today was a mindless coast of twelve miles into a town named Tricastlela. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that twelve miles would be a rest day!! Since slowing down a bit, I seem to be traveling with some of the same people. We usually gather at the villages for coffee and then disperse into small groups or singles until the next time.

The lyric of the day comes from Tupac Shakur: (What y’all want?) Unconditional Love (no doubt) Talking bout the stuff that don’t wear off, It don’t fade, It’ll last for all these crazy days.

Buen Camino,