(I apologize that this post is a bit haphazard. Not feeling well for a few days really threw me off kilter. I also took only a few pictures)
It is remarkable how much can happen while only walking. Or perhaps I should say the opposite. We spend so much our lives rushing about in a car driving from one important thing to the next. We hardly take the time to notice the details of our existence let alone our thoughts.
The Meseta offers the opportunity to explore ourselves, providing a new perspective through which to view our relationship with ourselves and others. I have found this a difficult portion of the journey. Nevertheless, I am happy that I walked each step and happy to have it behind.
Day – 28. Poblacion – 10/13
In the morning I felt better but not too great and decided to head out. I had walked only 3k before I stopped at the first albergue. It had a chair by the entrance so I decided to rest a minute. Quickly, I realized I was exhausted. The place looked very inviting so I checked in for the night at 9:30am.
This was by far the nicest and best designed I’ve encountered. Appears to be very new, with only 12 beds in six bunks of sorts. The top bunk is a walk up and each space has a privacy curtain, a nightlight, and electric outlet. (Some places you will find a half dozen phones plugged into one.)
The sign advertised Reike so I requested a session. It turns out that the local “healer” came for the session. Who would have known that 24 hours after being told I looked like a Shaman I would be seeing one! Interesting experience….
Basically I slept the better part of 24 hrs. I joined the evening meal for a test of food and to be socal but left soon to continue resting.
Day 29 Carrion – 10/14
Thursday was Columbus day here, a national holiday. Therefore the number of people on the Camino has increased, as many will walk for a four-day holiday. They check into these very inexpensive albergues, 5 euros a night, after a days walk, hit a grocery store, buy some wine, and have a party. Fun to see all the different types of Camino experiences.
Checked into my albergue and discovered that one of my dozen roommates is Timothy, the Irishman, who I met one month ago on the bus from the airport in Lourdes and last saw in Pamplona. The Camino is like that. He was kind enough to share some of the dinner he cooked. It was wonderful to have a meal which included fresh veggies and no french fries!
Day 30 – Ledigos -10/15
It’s early Sunday morning walking alone on a very quiet country road, there are many walking ahead and behind.
Thinking about the people I’ve met so far during the span of my life so far. Often they come into your life then vanish. This has led me to reflect about my abandonment issues related to my mother’s suicide, and my relationships in general. More lessons in acceptance and new perspective of my life.
If one walks the Camino in order to finish it it may never begin, if walks it for the journey it may never end.
The next leg offered an alternate route away from the main road via a dirt road through beautiful empty fields. Here I met a gentleman walking in the opposite direction. His name is Sky, and he had first walked the Camino from Chartres cathedral in France in 2009. He walked the famous labyrinth there to its center and proceeded directly on to Santiago. Since, he has been traveling the world and feeling his life at loose ends. He has returned to walk from Santiago back to Chartres. This time he will complete the labyrinth by returning to the center and walking out. He said he will never again leave a labyrinth unfinished!
Later, I finally met someone who asked about my circle & triangle AA patch. It was good to have coffee and a two person meeting.
Day – 31 Bercianos – 10/16
An early start was in order for today’s walk will be about 18 miles. With no challenges from terrain, the weather was not too hot which helped a lot.
Great lamb dinner. I ordered Torta Santiago for desert which arrived accompanied by a shot glass containing a yellow liquor. Smelled pretty potent to say the least. Happy for yesterday’s mini meeting.
Day -32 – Mansilla de las Mulas – 10/17
Straight walk for 25 k without a left or right decision all day.
Mule town was charming and a stopping place for Mariana as I spotted her cart parked on the street so I trust she was treated to a comfortable stable.
The Camino brings people together in so many ways. It is hard to know who is a couple and who just met and are are simply walking together. Another such couple joined our table as we finished dinner. He entertained us playing beautifully on a guitar that was available.
So, I was left alone to chat quietly with his companion. The conversations often begin with “what brought you to the Camino?” Her story was heartbreaking. She had seen the movie The Way and it had planted the seed. Last Christmas her daughter had given her a number of Camino gifts as encouragement for her to go. Last January her daughter died of suspicious causes. The woman is now walking the Camino to grieve and, like in the movie, carrying her daughters ashes.
Day 33 – Leon – 10/18
My thought, for the day, on this last stretch of the Meseta is -Show up for my life good or bad….
It was a cold wet morning walking through the urban suburbs approaching Leon. I walked a portion of the day with my Spaniard, angel, friend, and guide appropriately named Angel.
He has walked the Camino five times and been wonderful offering advice on the best and cheapest places to stay. He seems to have taken me under is wing and we have enjoyed each other’s company even with the language barrier. He was good enough to give me his number before we parted in case I had any emergency and needed help.