Monday, 22 August 2011

Somos locos perdidos: day 3

Today was a day for getting lost. It happened an hour in at about 7 am. I was walking with Kati, a german girl and we missed a sign. It was a blessing in disguise because it meant we joined up with a bigger group and I got to meet Marianne and Jim a couple from the Rockies who were great company. It did mean we walked an extra half an hour and that means a lot in a 7hour walk. I noticed little of the camino today. I was busy talking, listening or focusing on getting to Pamplona so that I could dump my oppressive boots and buy trainers that would let my toes live. I've started to notice that most of the walkers are women. The men tend to be on bike or horse. The horse riders look like cowboys and sound like they smoke 80 marlboro reds a day. I've had two big realisations since I've been on the camino. 1) you are always alone and you are never alone. It is both simultaneously. I felt that right through to my bones. 2) whenever I do anything at someone else's pace; it doesn't work for me. I have to go at my pace; on the road and in life. Similarly listening to others advice when it conflicts with what I feel is fatal; the boots are a painful reminder of that.

Nearing Pamplona I got chatting to an Octogenarian local who decided to walk the last 30 minutes with me. He cried as we said good bye and asked me to pray for him. He's done the road many times himself and seemed to relish the excuse ti walk a part of it again. Unfortunately, when he ushered me across the Magdalena bridge he sent me in the wrong direction to the albergue Jesus y Maria and I wasted another 30 minutes finding it in the soaring heat of the city. When Leona came to find me I saw her blisters had grown to the size of a small country. They are actually shocking. When other pilgrims see them you see the colour drain from there faces. The refugio is great. It's amazing how grateful you become for the little things in life on this journey: somewhere to rest your head, the shade of a tree, a cool breeze, food, sleep and shelter. We bought Asics a size bigger than normal to accommodate our swollen feet and headed to a pinchos bar (Michelin starred and heaving with a ceiling of pata negra no less). This walk is making us both emotional. We ate, drank, cried and laughed in turns, hobbled back to the refugio and called it a day. The sound of people russling in there ruck sacks, whispering and climbing up ladders to the top bunk are becoming familiar now and strangely comforting and more and more things are becoming superfluous. Tomorrow we'll see how the feet are and decide from there.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Zubiri to Pamplona

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