Today was the toughest yet for me. No more Easy Peasy. I suspect it started to go wrong when I spent most of the night in the bathroom. I pride myself in having an iron stomach, but not in Spain this time. So I was starting a long day on very little sleep. Over the course of the day there were two optional routes that I decided I would not take and all I had to do was make sure I didn’t get onto them. But, just outside of Cacabelos I found myself ON the first option I wanted to stay off of. It turned out OK kind of.
The route was through vineyards; some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Lots of pinch me moments.
But, before I saw this beautiful scenery, I came upon a French couple. The woman had just tripped on a rock and fell face first. Her lower lip was gashed and she was shaken.
We were in the middle of no where and all I could think to do was offer to call a cab even though I didn’t have a nearby cab number. I looked on my Buen Camino app and was able to tell them that the next village was “peutetra une ou deux kilometers” (apparently my French is a little rusty, but they got the point). I waited until she was calmed down and started walking again and then moved on ahead of them.
Until I was distracted by those beautiful vineyards once the sun rose, all I could think about was if that was me. I was walking alone and I am a master of tripping. So much for shaking my fear of the unknown.
The good news is that I arrived at a town a couple of hours later and the couple was there having lunch! When they reached the village I told them about, they stopped to ask for help and the local person called the emergency number in Spain – 112. An ambulance came, the woman got stitches in her lip and they were having lunch before continuing on.
So it was OK that I ended up on that detour because I think I was a little helpful, but I did not want to climb the mountain that was on the next detour.
The alternative was flat, but it was on the road. For the most part, it felt safe, but there were some sketchy moments where trucks were flying off the highway and didn’t seem like they would be stopping should a pilgrim wander into their path.
Still, it was a pretty walk right along the river and on the road that parallels the highway (for Vermonters, I was on the equivalent of Route 2 with I89 usually in sight).
I did hear someone calling my name as I was getting into Villafranca. It was Rosevitha who I met the first day out of Burgos. She was a little behind because she had spent the morning in Ponferrada getting a cap glued back on the had fallen off the night before.
It was great to see her. She is an artist and we enjoy talking about the scenes we pass and how the light is hitting the objects or how we might treat the scene with our art.
If you have done the Camino you will know what I mean when I say it was just one of those days. I never thought it would end. It was hot, mostly on pavement and while the river on the left was nice, the road on the right was not.
Then I get into my town for the night and discover there are only two restaurants and I missed the lunch service and dinner isn’t until 7. I just wanted to go to bed so I had another (not as wonderful) in-room picnic.
Just when you are feeling confident, the Camino smacks you down (at least that is how it felt today!). It was my “why am I here,” homesick day. To make it worse, I knew my cell service wasn’t working and that Ray would be worried about me. I didn’t want to eat anything because I feared I would regret it so I had three bananas, two Aquarius’ and my first NUUN tablet of the trek. I was probably running on reserves, but I reasoned I have a lot of them.
I hoped that getting to bed at 7pm after popping an Imodium would work wonders. Spoiler alert: it did!