The good newsis that I am past O Cerebrio and now in Triacastela! Yesterday when I left on my first guide less day, I Meyer two Italians just as I crossed a bridge. I saved them from an unnecessary much longer walk, and we went along together. Gianni is about 40, and is walking with his childhood friend, Merino. He is a physician who trats adults with leukemia, and he is burned out. We had a great conversation about the stress of working with people who die, and a bond was formed. I had planned to walk only 14km that day,mostly be ause beyond that is 10k of a rocky trail going almost straight up! But, when we got to my stopping point, it was too early, so I plowed ahead. By this time we had been joined by Kiwi, a21 year old girl who jumped on the camino impulsively after seeing the movie on a bus to Pamplona. She got off the bus, gathered together so e equipment and was off.! Her lively chatter was good for all of us.
Now, I want you to know that walking El Camino is so much harder than I ever imagined! It is hard work every day. Generally I am out walking in the dark by 6:30, and I try to stop around two because of the heat. I have been so very fortunate to have only had light rain on days one and three. Other than that, it has been fiercely sunny..both a blessing (not having to walk in the wet) and a burden (the hit afternoon sun). O Cerebrio is famous for foul weather..cold, wet, windy. I was so lucky to be there when it was sunny! But the walk up? OH ME, TOTAL TORTURE! It took me about four hours. And I would not have made it without the constant support from my walking friends. They would walk ahead and then wait for me to catch up! It was so evident that they were not going to walk off...maybe once again I was looking wobble-ey. Whatever II a so grateful for their support and encouragement! Their constant " Only 20 more minutes Bob!" Kept me moving. The problem was not a lack of strength but of cardio fitness. I would have to stop and pant often!
When we final,y got to the albergue I had all the chores - washing my self and my clothes,finding a grocery, and organizing myself for today. Once that was done I went out to sit on a bench and tend to my badly infected toe.
Before I started out on this adventure, I had posted ona Camino age that I would like to share a taxi from Biarritz to St Jean..the day before I left I had a reply from Dave, who wanted to share. We. Et in the Dublin Airport where I changed planes. He is a fireman, maybe 40, and we had an instant connection. That first night in St Jean, we stayed in the same place, and the following day he walked off, on a faster pace.
While working on my toe - there was Dave coming over to say hello! We were so glad to see each other and swap stories! Today he walked with me to Triacastela, a slow walk for him ( only 22k). He was my patient companion today. When we got to Trtriacastela,( I knw there is something wrong with this spelling, but I am sitting outside...lots of glare and small font)) we had lunch, and he went on to Sarria. I done enough for today. I'm tending to my toe and resting.
Tomorrow I will walk to Sarria, about 20k, and then it is only five days to Santiago. Unless my toe has a total collapse, I will be there next Thursday and then home next Sunday. As I sit here in front if a cafe/hotel, Gianni and Merino, almond with Deiter, a man I met a week or so ago. Have passed by. I am so happy to be here! I am back in the mountains , and the scenery s so beautiful. And, here is Deiter, getting ready to sit down and visit with me!
Hard? You betcha! But, so wonderful!