Today, I walked alone. Molli can’t seem to catch a break. She has suffered with a leg issue for several days. She struggled with it a lot yesterday. On top of that, last night she was up what seemed like every hour. She picked up a stomach bug somewhere. Her stomach had been off for the last few days, and culminated with last nights bathroom bonanza.
When she described her symptoms, my first thoughts were giardia. Giardia is a rather unpleasant intestinal protozoa that makes your life a living hell. It’s treatable with a long course of flagyl. Flagyl is no walk in the park either. It’s tough on your liver and you generally feel terrible while on it.
When we awoke this morning, Molli told me she wasn’t walking anywhere today. Their plan consisted of catching a cab to Sahagún and visiting a pharmacy and then cabbing it to Calzadilla de Los Hermonillos, our destination town for the day. They offered for me to come with them, if I wanted to take a zero day.
I got up to take a shower and mull over their offer. A zero day sounded great, honestly. I finished up the hot shower (hot water is the best invention ever by the way), and got dressed. I let them know I was going to go ahead and walk today and I would meet them at their planned destination.
I stopped in the dining area of the Albergue and had a cup of coffee, a banana, and three various pastries offered for breakfast. I miss big american breakfasts. Bread and pastries are not my idea of a “good” breakfast. I also purchased a couple of bananas for the road.
I was out the door and walking by 7:00am. I didn’t see many people on the trail today. The town we stopped in last night had only two options for accommodations, and the majority of the pilgrims we knew took the second option on the other side of town. We all seem to leave between 6 and 7, but they were a kilometer further down the trail than I. As a result, no one was in sight.
It was the first time I have truly walked alone on the Camino. The scenery was more pleasant than the last several days. More rural and more of what I had envisioned the Meseta to be.
I walked passed an old well with an operational hand pump. Unfortunately the prime on the pump had been lost. I didn’t have enough water in my water bottle to prime it, so I was unable to use it. I have always found old pumps interesting You need water to prime the pump to get water. But, if you have water to prime the pump you have water and don’t need to pump water. I see the error in my logic of course. I am simply easily tickled thinking about such things.
I made good time into Sahagún. On the outskirts of town I ran into Tim and Jim. Tim is from Colorado and Tom from Ohio. We have seen them here and there since early in our hike. Older retired gentleman, related by marriage, this is their first long distance hike. There may be some Frankie and Grace business going on there.
Just as I was walking into town, I received a message from T&M. They had gone to the pharmacy and things seem to be getting better for Molli. Whew, it appears she dodged the giaridia bullet. They stopped at a bakery and were having breakfast. As I walked through Sahagún, I saw many of the usual pilgrims. Again a cool feeling to walk into a town you have never been to and past a cafe to have a half-dozen people wave and say hi. I met up with T&M for a few minutes and chatted. Their plan was still to cab it to our destination. We said our goodbyes and I hit the road.
The Camino diverged today into two different paths. The Camino Frances, and the Camino Romana. On a recommendation, T&M decided to stay in a town on the Camino Romana. The side trail was approximately 6 miles long, I found it with little issue. Talk about the route less traveled. I saw three pilgrims during the entire 6 mile trek, two of which I knew, Eric and Ryan.
I walked with them a bit, but per usual, they walk at a slightly faster pace than I care to. Soon they were out of sight and I was alone. Traipsing through the Spanish countryside, alone, and only having learned the route a few hours before. Exhilarating.
The rest of the walk was easy. I have become accustomed to the daily soreness and aches. The aches and pains have become migratory. Some mornings it’s my feet, or the occasional twinge in my knee from an overworked IT band. Most recently, my hips and back have been sore. Ahh the weary, sore life of a long distance hiker.
I’m more relaxed now than I have been in years. Clarity and quietness of mind seem to be more the norm, than the frantic pace at which my mind normally races. It’s an enjoyable space to be in. Not contemplating much of the future or the past, just today.
Tony told me a story of a trip to the Caribbean. They know a small catamaran operator who charters his boat to groups. With their business, they put together fitness related trips, and take people from their boot camps. On one such trip, they came upon a small island with multiple palm trees. No dwellings of any sort, but some enterprising individual has pulled ashore with their small boat. He had set up a bbq grill and had a cooler full of beer. He sells burgers and beer to those happening by.
The catamaran stops and everyone goes ashore to partake in beer and a burger. While everyone is enjoying their lunch, Tony is standing away from the group. A salty old man walks by Tony. As the man passes, he turns to Tony without braking his stride and says, “You are where you’re supposed to be.” It clearly resonated with Tony as he has shared the story many times.
To often I become obsessed with the future. There is solace in the calmness of mind, and assurance in that phrase. Always remember, “You are where you’re supposed to be!”