The Camino turns everyone who walks it into a philosopher. It imbues every song with deeper meaning. Every path on the Camino has its ups and downs, and the emotions follow a similar pattern.
After some tough days, I have been walking in something of an elated state. My knee pain is greatly reduced and the route is increasing in beauty as it winds towards Galicia.
Today, we started with breakfast at our hostel, where among others I got to know Dave (also from London, also blogging, walking the Camino on behalf of Crisis, plays ukele karaoke in Vauxhall) and Javi (from Pais Vasco, looks dapper in a beret, recently a grandfather).
We started off quickly, and I’m sorry to say Benjamin got left behind, but hopefully I’ll meet him later on the way. Dave tells me that “the Camino will provide”.
The first town we came to was Hospital de Orbiga, which has a prodigious bridge, where a knight once jousted 166 men to defend the honour of his lady. We stopped for coffee, but no jousting.
After that we moved on through thick, red, clay soil (similar to la Rioja). It made the going tough, but the scenery rose to meet the challenge.
The scent of pine rose from the trees, and a cuckoo started calling out its distinctive greeting. Javi told us there is a Basque story that if you have money in your pocket when the cuckoo calls, you’re set to have a good year. I don’t have pockets, so I don’t know what that means for me.
As we continued, snow-covered mountains once again appeared in the distance (though they’re starting to get disturbingly near). We arrived in a field brimming with wild flowers and I started to think it would be a good time to take a break.
The Camino will provide.
Cue Susie and the fantastic Casa de los Dioses. Drinks, food and warm wishes for any pilgrim who stops there. A lovely gesture, which truly characterises the kinship everyone feels along the way.
I walked to Astorgas with Dave and Javi, but there we went our separate ways. However the Camino has a funny way of reuniting people and I suspect I’ll see them again. If not on the Camino, is anyone up for ukele karaoke when I’m home?