My Camino: Day 25 – Cats, Cocks, and Catastrophes

Well this just sucks!

I should have known that I was going to need to be on my guard today when, at predawn, I first stepped out of my hotel.

My trusted headlamp wouldn’t turn on, then from out of the shadows three guys who I had seen yesterday, and who I overheard saying about me, “She’s going to kill herself if she keeps up this pace,” nearly tackled me to the ground. It was pitch dark and these knuckleheads were lost – asking “me” for directions. Lucky for them AND for me, I had scouted out the route the night before.

Yes, I am that damn good.

The sun is rising later and later it seems, and here in the valley between two mountain ranges, it takes longer for its rays to light our way here on the Camino de Santiago.

It also takes longer to heat up. I’ve got a cold, and the chills. Doesn’t that just suck!!? I want to lie in bed, but I can’t – the fucking hotels act like they’re hotels – they’ve booked my room to someone else.

So out the door I went at Zero Dark 30 along with the other pilgrims. Today our walk is rated as “easy” by the guidebooks – but someone forgot to tell us that.

Nearly an hour in, I saw a small group hanging out in the middle of the road – never a good sign. As I approached I saw a woman on the ground covered in blood. She had fallen, tripped over her own hiking sticks (would have been funny if it hadn’t been for all the blood and the fact that she had broken her ankle and scraped the shit out of her face). The ambulance raced to the scene to take her to the local hospital.

I was telling this story over coffee to a fellow pilgrim about 10 minutes later when he said another person had taken a really bad fall, and then pointed to the sky saying, “Look, that’s the helicopter taking him to the hospital.”

Jesus people it’s just walking.

But it’s not, not really.

For most of us, it’s been nearly a month of walking about 15 miles a day – everyday. I dunno, maybe people are zoning out as we inch closer and closer to Santiago de Compostela.

Maybe we’re so focused on the end that we’re losing our focus on what’s in front of us right now.

I told my feverish self to chill, pay attention, and be the fuck careful.

I ordered a second cafe con leche and watched the local cats beg for morsels – they got a pat or two, but no milk.

Further up the road, I saw a local farmer pulling off the leaves of tree limbs, prepping some fresh switches to lead his flock from field to field.

His littlest lamb even pulled a Madonna for me – Strike A Pose!

And in the cra cra town of Vega de Valcarce the roosters, hens, and geese were all a gaggle about the local gossip. They wouldn’t share it with me, sorry to report.

But I’m sure if these hens could talk, they would explain the goings on – like, why isn’t the house that’s sheared in half condemned, or sealed off, or curtained off?

I mean look at this photo – the tv is still in the bedroom, the beds are made, and the wardrobes still have clothes in them. What the fucking fuck happened here and why doesn’t anyone except for me seem to think this is not normal?

Oh well.

The rural part of Spain is beautiful, but it’s also in shambles. Whether it was Franco, Hitler or neglect, so many buildings are close to collapsing and no one seems to mind. I quicken my pace and hope for the best when I have to walk under these leaning structures. Seriously, one good windstorm and they’re kaput.

But today’s real catastrophe: Love on the Rocks!

Yep, here we are sooooo close to the end and I’m seeing the end of some of my favorite road romances.

Argentina and Mexico couple – over!

Boomer couple – estranged!

You can see the uncoupling of the Camino couples.

Where once these lovebirds were attached at the backpacks, now they’re walking solo. Or eating solo. Or drinking solo.

When I ask about the whereabouts of their pilgrim partner, I get a shrug and a noncommittal “I dunno, he was in a hurry to get to Santiago.”

“Tell me more, tell me more….”

Just like Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson in “Grease,” summer lovin happened so fast, but ohhh those Camino nights – I guess romancing on the holy trail eventually had to come to an end.

The Galicia mountains tower over me.

I’m heading up there tomorrow, and according to the guidebooks, it’s supposed to be a “difficult” day of climbing, so I’m resting now, drinking some Spanish cold concoction with high hopes that I’ll be my bitchy-ass self tomorrow and will conquer those hills… with or without a ladder

But don’t worry about me coach, I’ll be alright.

I’m going to add some wine to my cold concoction and take in this view from my room.

My stats

12.75 Miles walked today

(Villafranca- Herrerias)

386.38 Miles traveled so far

119.42 Miles to go

505.8 Miles between St Jean Pied de Port, France and Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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3 comments

  1. Bruce Taylor · September 30

    Only 7 days left, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lori Spechler · October 1

    Great commentary, Glo! Keep on keepin’ on…

    Liked by 1 person

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