Back in the mountains! Apparently the camino will make you cry the books said. For some those tears may be sad tears and they may also be happy tears. These mountains they bring me so much joy, a joy that’s so profoundly deep I feel sad and happy and love, mostly love. And the gift of those feelings – tears.
Days on the Camino – 21
Kms – Today 30 kms.
Starting point today – Santa Catalina, Spain.
End of the day – El Acebo, Spain.
Number of girls in Africa educated – 23
Total funds raised so far – $6995.00. Goal is $10 per km so $7,690.00 just $695 to go!
If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.
Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.
Today was dedicated to – My brothers. Both of you. I love everything about the childhood we shared, the fun, the fights, the games and the fact that you always trusted me – your big sister. You’ve both grown into bloody good men and I treasure being an aunty to your kids and a sister to your wives, even though I’m crap at birthdays and such things. I’d like to say I’ll get better at that but I’m sure that won’t happen.
Accommodation – No booking today! We chanced it (with Ansett, Aussie joke). Since Leòn there are many more villages and accommodation choices. León is a popular starting point for many with its 311km route into Santiago. We walked straight into a twin room in this mountain town at 1,000 metres altitude. (€22.50 each with breakfast).
Food highlight – Yesterday we didn’t eat enough! That always results in tiredness. So today when there was toast on offer at our albergue we started the day with the mandatory banana plus toast and coffee. I would have preferred a few eggs but the simplicity of toast and jam was still ridiculously satisfying. You can’t always get toast here!
We decided to take the time to have lunch in the first mountain village Foncebadón in this new range we’re climbing. If you’ve ever read any camino books this was the deserted town with wild dogs that everyone feared! It’s no longer scary, it has a cool hippy vibe. There was even yoga at the albergue we had lunch. It would have been a great place to stay I think.
Oh and asparagus is showing up in the dishes instead of peppers so I guess it’s the new regional specialty. It’s quite different to what we’re used to in Aussie. I like these better, they are layered like a leek but quite sweet. And please don’t go there with the arrangement of the salad plate – I know what you’re thinking.
In a word(s) – A lucky sister.
Today we arrived at the iron cross – La Cruz de Ferro. Traditionally this is where pilgrims throw a rock brought from their home to symbolize their journey. I might not be religious but I’m a little superstitious. I brought a tiny rock from my home in Holland and my sister and I had also collected a pine cone along the way to symbolize our family home. In the summer my dad always decorates the open fire place with pine cones from the gazillion pine cones out the front.
My family was on my mind today. Not my little people and my great love, those crackers are fine at home with said great love; their super dad and my super husband. I’ll see them all every day again soon and we’ll be having pjs and all day couch cuddles. No, today the family I grew up in was on my mind.
I presumed if I missed a family I would miss my own but today it was the family on my mind that I missed. I even shed a tiny tear, don’t worry it was a good tear, a happy tear. It shows how much I love them and it reminds me that we’re still very connected and I need them … even with the distance between us.
We had a late start this morning eating breakfast before we started and ‘what’s ap’ing’ our brothers. One brother each. I know they would love this walk. Perhaps this beautiful gift of freedom, of being small in a big beautiful world and the simplicity of this life reminds me of my childhood. That time when you are lost in your head without a care in the world. Where you’re closest to yourself and your siblings are your best mates and your parents are your everything.
Here I am climbing mountains with my sister and today I wanted to feel close to my brothers and my parents. So I did. I thought a lot about them. People are walking this trail for many reasons. Some, like me come without expectations unsure of what the trail will offer them but open to what finds them. This day surprised me.
I’m not sure what the point of this story is. So I’m struggling to conclude it! But I need to sleep so I have to. As this camino continues the things that are surfacing are not things I’ve thought a lot about so the writing is getting harder. Simplicity, slow days, transition, letting go, gratitude I can write about those thoughts till the cows come home – those lessons I’d learnt before the camino, are well practiced in my life and they’re easy for me to spot with analogy’s.
This one is something bigger. I suspect it’s to do with a story I heard on this camino of why a family it walking towards this cross. So I’ve laid it out here briefly and now I will let it sit.