Camino de Santiago 12

Jul 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Travel Adventures
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It’s a light day. I’m only doing 21km (~12 miles) I said to the other pilgrim as I walked out of the alburgue. I rolled my eyes thinking about what I had just said. Yes, I had transitioned, crossed over, became one of those athletic extremist. A walking junkie. I had joined the ‘crazy’ athletes club. A membership I’ve admired from afar. My good friends who swim, run, bike, and climb incredible distances and are happy about it. You know who you are. How did I get here? When did I accept the invitation?


But here I am. Walking, everyday for 30 days. This is what I chose to do for my vacation. And I’m loving it. Unlike yesterday’s bottleneck of migrators, I awake late and I am alone on the road. I like starting the morning this way. Just me and my music. It’s too early for therapy and The Power of Now. Instead I am feeling happy and refreshed. My bones, muscles, joints, everything is coming on-line and responding to the repetitive demands of walking.



The landscape is golden hills and mesas. I think about my desire to be alone. Away from the community. Yesterday made me realize that the Camino is about gaining and loosing, experiencing and reflecting, community and solitude. It gives you what you need, not what you want.


As I walked along the U2 song One Step Closer started playing and it made think yes, with every step I am one step closer to knowing. Not sure what it is I will know, but I am getting one closer.


This song was immediately followed by Goo Goo Dolls Iris.

I love the line:

And I don’t want the world to see me
Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything is made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

Isn’t that how we sometimes feel? Vulnerable and exposed, cautious that the world will not accept us as we are, but longing for that acceptance in so many ways. So we take cover in armor plated facades. Layers representing who we wish we were and not who we really are. A different layer for every situation.


About halfway down the road it was time for my therapy session with Eckhart Tolle and The Power of Now. I am ver glad I started listening to this book. I think it fits in perfect with what I’ve been thinking about and the transition I am experiencing. But it’s some heavy crap he lays on you and I can only take about an hour a day before my mind is overloaded. There is so much to process about self identity and the mind. About being in the moment and control over the needs of the ego and self. But it resonates. My head shakes in agreement as I listen to each word with each step. I’ll be doing a whole blog entry about what I learn from listening to this book.


As I headed up the mountain my geologist eye noticed how the light was shimmering of the hillside. So I investigated. There was a nice mineral layer of gypsum. I jumped down into the ditch and started digging around for samples, wishing I had my rock hammer.




Of course I slipped a few samples away into my backpack, as if it weren’t already heavy enough, and continued up the hill.

Just as my therapy session was ending, I came across two bright eyed Spanish guys from the Canary Islands. They had just started the Camino in Burgos and you could tell. They still had that excited pep with their step. They didn’t speak English and my Spanish is pathetic.



But we still walked and talked, in Spanish. I managed to understand about 40% of what they were trying say or ask. Another 25% was handled by my iPhone translator app. That is until we passed a field with fruit trees. They tried to explain the fruit. I didn’t understand so I put it in the translator. The word translated into something very bad. Let’s just say it’s what you’d call a female you really didn’t like. The guys were so embarrassed. No! No!, they kept saying red faced. I just chuckled. Lost in translation. I had just learned my first Spanish swear word.


I had only planed to walk 20ish km but the guys pushed me to go further. Another 10km down the road to the next town. Everyone was feeling it as the afternoon began to drag. Finally we reached our alburgue and it was beautiful. I ended up in the loft upstairs. It’s te first time I’m not in a bunk bed. I was so happy. Xavi and Raul where there. We greeted each other with hugs and went to eat. They had garlic soup. This time it was thicker with little bit of egg and bread. Very we finished our meal Sarah and Abby showed up. We were all reunited…again. Community!








As I headed to bed, one of the Spanish Canary Island guys tried to make me kiss him. It was just on the cheek, but he was very aggressive and I had to push him away. It was my first negative experience on the Camino. I had met someone I had no desire to ever meet again.

Day 13: Music of the Soul

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