Day 7: Bueno Camino! Finally

A1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8A9A10A11A12A13A14Good day indeed. Left the Chapitel Hotel late, about 9 am. Late for me. I wanted to be gone by 7 am. Glad I waited. I left the hotel feeling good physically. The suggestions from friends yesterday: the Ibuprofen, and 2 glasses of vino and the Man Up prescription was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Climbed the 74 steps of St. Michael Cathedral directly across the alley from the hotel and had my devotional. It was about knowing that your reality is only the current moment you are in. It is nothing more. It’s knowing that the only time that matters is right now. (I know. Redundant). It gave me my pace for the day.

I left Estella and felt like I was navigating a mini-metropolis. Put it this way. I got my days rations from an Avia gas station. After 30 minutes on a concrete path my feet were dying to get back on the unstable, rocky path on dirt, rocks and gravel! They love to work for me! I don’t pay well but I have drugs: ibuprofen!

What a great first 5-6 miles. Very smooth. Very few inclines. However, I started to see a snowy cap mountain in the far distance. I wondered if that is where I was headed. It’s moments like these that make NOT planning beautiful. It’s nice not to know what’s in store for you for the day.

I had some wonderful moments with God today. He let me know that I need to be a better steward of the time that he has given me. I had some good communion with Lindy. At one point in time the original Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah came on my iTunes. I imagined Lindy in heaven looking down on me while I walked through the vino fields. I saw a choir behind her singing to me. Very moving for me.

As I walked further, I realized that the temp was dropping about 1 degree every km i walked. It finally settled at about 40-45 degrees. That is the reason I took very little pictures today. I walked into what looked like Pine Mills, East Texas except in the moutains. It was incredible! Such beauty.

The best part was entering into what I thought would be my halfway point. It’s now 2 pm and I’m feeling I could go further if I could only get some pasta! Logrono was my destination today. Heck, I have only done 13 miles at this point. I can do 15 more! I have Ibuprofen! Miracle drug!

I walked into ciudad Los Arcos (and no to my EDT friends, it’s nothing like the after hours drinking/mediocre Mexican food joint we used to frequent only on the weekends on Ross!

I ran into a local on the street and asked “how much further to Logrono?” He said, ” too far for you unless you packed a tent!” I thought, with determination I would make it by God! But, I needed food. I had been craving pasta since Pamplona! I walked by this restaurant and the guy I met the day before (Juay) came running out and said, “Eat here! We are all here eating!” And I said, ” we all? Who’s we all?”

So I went in and took my pack off and met “we all”. No one really new each other expect 2 ladies, and they met in Pamplona five days ago. ( Five days ago? Man I did this trek in 3 days!)

There is Teresa from Seoul Korea. She looks about 27 years old. She is quite and speaks a tad better Spanish than me. Speaks a tad better english than a one-day old illegal in Dallas! Her travel mate for the last 5 days really interested me: Valerie.

Valerie is 70 years old, very opinionated lady. Her husband of a year, but boyfriend of 15 years, died a year ago today of lung cancer. She said she did the Jon of Arch pilgrimage via car right after he died. This year, on their anniversary of his death, she is doing the Camino. Her voyage walking the Camino will take her to Santiago by Easter weekend. She is from Channel Island between France and England and she sounds British. Love talking to to her.

The other lady is Piedad from Seville Spain. We haven’t talked much because she speaks zero english.

So. After many glasses of vino, beer and yogurt, they convinced me that the Albergue (hostel) they are staying in is THE place. So here I am. The La Fuente is where I am staying. First venture at a hostel. It is nice. Juay is a chef. We all pitched in and he is cooking tonight.

They are all walking the Camino for different reasons and at different daily paces. They all say its a spiritual walk in a physical body for them. I needed this communion. Better yet. God knew I needed this break from myself. About to rock this hostel! They have a guitar…which…I really can’t…well, play! So what. As I said yesterday, these people will never see me again! I’m switching coast day after tomorrow after all to walk the northern route.

We are now swapping stories, playing guitar, singing, and drinking good wine. Great day.

Lindy approves. I am positive;) She may not approve of the sleeping accommodations but she approves.

Love you sweetheart. Thank you for the ounce of joy today.

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