Hello everyone from Spain and the Camino,
Life is good and I am grateful for my feet and my strength. This is certainly no walk in the park and the landscape and walking trails vary from soft leaf covered tree lined paths to hard made made concrete paths through an industrial stone grinding operation spewing smoke and lots of noise. This too is part of the camino as is the hot hot sun and the cool shade, the rhythmic clicking of walking sticks, the laughter of pilgrims as they walk, the every ready Buen Camino as you pass another pilgrim and the groans of pleasure as you come upon a cold water source to quench your thirst and cool your head and neck. I feel very alive and present and I tear up as I write this. The Camino is truly about paradox and opposites. It is an incredible teacher and a gift.
It was a long hard day in the sun after a delightful dinner prepared by our Basque host of fish, bread, french fries, and a fried egg and a salad of freshly picked cucumbers, tomatoes and onions from the garden. Apparently the She also gave us a sheep milk custard type dish that she was very proud of that was enhanced with honey. We went back to her beautiful home, which is new, yet old. Beams and amazing wood and hardwood floors and tile, yet new construction. I have pictures I will share when I can figure out how. Anyway, we had a typical breakfast of bread, butter, and jam and she gave us fresh squeezed orange juice. I mean fresh. It was DELICIOUS !!!!! Did I tell you how good it was? Then she packed up a lunch with freshly made bread, egg and cheese. We ate that delicious lunch soaking our feet under an ancient roman bridge in cold water. That was very restorative and helped pull us over the top when we began to tire. As I said early the day was long and hot. Our first 10 mile day. I am still a beginner at transferring kilometers and miles. As a major contrast, tonight we are staying in Larrasoana at a municipal alburgue. There is a large room next to this computer room that sleeps around 30 people and upstairs we are in a room with 4 people all bunkbeds. My bunk mates are Connie from Canada, a woman we´ve been walking with since Orrisson, and a father and son from Australia. I was so tired and there were no restaurants open in this town except for a small Supermacardo, which would be similar in the USA to a comination Vinnies and a small small corner store like the Kings Gap store, only much much smaller. Her son is a film producer and was involved in the making of the movie The Way. She has pictures of her and Martin Sheen and Emilio hanging behind the counter. She was very very stressed this evening as pilgrims were standning in line for food. We would open the freezer door and look for what we wanted, standing there wasting the good cold are. She would yell at each batch of new pilgrims who would enter and do the same thing over and over. She softened a bit when I asked about the photos and thanked her for being there. We all want to be acknowledged. Which brings me to all of you. I feel your love and support for me on this pilgrimage and I am blessed to have all of you touch me in my life. You are walking this with me, believe me. Tomorrow we plan to start to walk by 6:30 as we want to beat the heat. We might have rain as it was raining earlier. We´ll see. No raind days off for us, that´s why I have a rain coat with me. Tomorrow is another long day, to Pamplona. We are planning to stay there tomorrow evening and then continue on. Alot of people stay there an extra day, but we want to build that day in later in our journey. There were 3 other people walking with us 2 from Georgia and 1 from Washington, but they decided to see if there were accomodations in a town before Larrasoana. I hope it worked out for them. They were totally spent and could not imagine walking any further. I seem to be holding up. I am keeping a close eye on my feet as blisters are evil and not to be entertained in any way.