Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Santo Domingo de Calzada

Last night we decided that Leon is our destination, another week or so, and that after that we will go sit on a beach somewhere. Jessica is happier, now that we have a plan that involves ending the Camino. Getting to Santo Domingo was a shorter day, we were here by 12:30, not the 4PM of yesterday, and that makes a difference. In my mind's eye I can see vineyards stretching endlessly out of sight. I'm tired but not exhausted, tonight.

It rained on us a little today, just a light mist, like from a plant sprayer. But it's still not cold... just pleasant for walking. A little chilly for protracted sitting without a sweater.

I'm sitting in the laundromat, which we were happy to find after days of washing our sweaty socks and t-shirts by hand in stone basins with cold water. Our clothes are going round, we also have Martha from Ireland's clothes. Clare from England, who Tina has been walking with, went on further today. But we decided that 30k is too long for us, and we're sticking to 20s at the moment. Also, it takes us into the afternoon when it gets very hot, and Spanish people who are sitting in the shade drinking beer give us trouble for walking in the heat.

Dinner last night was in a lovely cafe, run by friendly Carlos, his brother found Tina in pain from her hamstring in the street in Najera in the afternoon, and gave her ice, then saw us hobbling around in our sandals later in the evening and took us to Carlos' cafe, where we had a carb feast, pizza and spaghetti. As we were leaving, Carlos said, "Estoy abierto a las seis, manana," so we went back this morning for bread and jam and excellent coffee, and Carlos gave me his card so I can send him a postcard.

Children keep coming past the door of the laundromat and yelling in - not sure what that's about. I found yesterday that a lot of people spoke to me, when I was alone, in Logrono. Telling me my pack was too heavy, my shoelace was untied, wishing me buen camino.

Clothes are in the dryer now, the girls have reappeared with food to be eaten soon. Earlier on in the trip I suggested that we buy food and have a picnic, given that we always seem to eat lumps of baguette with ham and/or cheese anyway, but the idea was dismissed. Now, it is good. Some measure of how far they have come, in their European experience.

I need to keep reminding myself that everyone is on his or her own camino. That although sometimes it seems like a giant walking slumber party, the way that they are experiencing it is different. Some are more inward, some more outward. And I am not in their bodies. I don't feel what hurts them, just as they don't feel what is excruciating for me. In the evenings we all limp around in our sandals, even those who have been striding much more quickly than me through the countryside. I'm sure that in the future I will drink a glass of wine made from grapes from a field I have walked through in the last week. I just won't know it.

I'm already talking about when I'm going to come back and finish...