No one day is the same as the next. Maybe this is why we should always be thankful for today: there will never be another exactly like it, and we can never really know exactly what to expect.
It seems everyone started out early today to beat the merciless sun. We were walking just after 6:30am, and reached La Fuente del Vino at 7:15. La Fuente del Vino can be translated as “The Fountain of Wine”, and it is exactly that.
Oh, dinner last night was brilliant by the way!! Italians DO know their pasta. I watched, and I still don’t even know how he did it, but with a couple of tomatoes, onions, and some garlic, Andrea made the best penne I’ve had. Plus cheese, salami, salad, bread, and a half dozen bottles of wine, a good night was had by all.
Shortly after the fountain, we came to a cross roads – I’m still kinda kicking myself for not taking a photo. The signpost said Los Arcos both ways; one was 17.4km up a mountain, and the other arrow pointed along the flat road and said 19.1km. Me, being a genius, didn’t hesitate in shaving off two kilometres and started straight for the mountain. E v e r y o n e e l s e that was there opted for the longer road with no mountain. Their loss!
It was deceptive; hardly an incline, and I got to walk in a pine forest on the side of the mountain (not over it, as it had seemed), and had views every now and then of the lay of the land I’d just covered by foot. It was magnificent! Cool, shady, even the smell was refreshing! Goood choice Naomi Joy.
I also had a lot of thinking time, and berries to pick. Whenever I eat blackberries in the futue I will be taken back to Camino. The path is LINED with wild bushes that we can eat from, and I do, in abundance.
Over the past year I’ve seen a few posters around Australia for ‘Singing the Camino’ (T and Em Dent, I’m looking at you guys), and this morning I did just that. With a mountain to myself and headphones in, I blasted old school Hillsong, Alicia Keys, Fat Freddy’s Drop plus more golden tunes and belted them out as I waltzed, swung my arms high, bobbed my head side to side and made my way west.
I got into Los Arcos at 11:10 and found an old friend I thought I’d seen the last of! Funny how when I say ‘old friend’ I technically mean I met him Tuesday night – and yet the reunion when the older man saw me, called out “Nahomee!” down the street and kissed my cheeks when I reached him was as warm and sweet as it would have been if I’d known him years. Friendships are deep here.
In town I actually got to speak to one of my favourites, Jazzman, and when he asked for the highlight so far I couldn’t differentiate between all my precious/hilarious/challenging/priceless moments with friends I have come with and made along the way. Relationships really are my highlight.
The fiesta I mentioned in a previous post is actually a four day affair right across Spain (each town just celebrates themselves – kinda similar to Australia Day, but on a whooole other level). The first three days are the lead up to the big guns on the 15th August, as the Ascention of Mary into Heaven. Which means, tomorrow’s going to go offff! And also means when I was chilling in Los Arcos I was there twenty minutes before the day’s festivities began. I had planned on continuing my walk asap, but how often do you get to experience a pre-fiesta in a little Spanish town? Not often. So I delayed going on.. And saw fireworks, a marching brass band, and crazy dressed up figures belting the children as a game. Spaniards know how to party!
Towards the end of yesterday one of my ankles was hurting so bad I was limping, and so this morning I threw out a prayer request to my awesome peeps. God loves me! And listens to them! 😉 I walked in my sandals today instead of boots to give my heel a bit of a rest, and was able to stride out nearly 30km to get to Sansol without a hitch. The others won’t agree though.. The hitch was I was so chirpy, so full of life and vitality and goodness I was bouncing off the walls when we arrived and people were dropping like flies. I managed a quick photo of Frank as he stared daggers at my big wide smile and Iley was already collapsed on the ground next to her bed. With the pic of my feet, that black ‘strap’ is actually the colour of my socks where the dust didn’t get to!
Thank you Lord for answered prayers! My heel is swelling up a little again tonight, so I’ll take a couple/few Nurofen and pray some more to get me through tomorrow.
I have heard I will return a changed woman. I have already noticed small changes…
- In conversations: “Glen, can you please pass me those nailclippers? I need to dig out a couple ingrown toenails.”
- In walking methods: walking up a hill with an eight kilo pack is a lot easier when you bend over perpendicularly. On inclines, my torso is now automatically parallel to the road.
- In eating: bread goes with everything – breakfast, salad, pasta, fish, fries, omelette, wine, fruit… Everything. And two Cokes + a litre of red wine per day is my running average.
- In prayer: “Lord, please let these bushes I’m currently squatting over not be poison ivy or stinging nettle.”
It is said it takes thirty days to create new habits. I wonder which new habits I shall return with.
My hope is simply to return a better version of myself.
I read this poem today, and it sums up this hope beautifully. I believe in all that has never yet been spoken, by Rainer Maria Rilke –
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.