While I have walked alone for an hour or two many times on the Camino, yesterday was the first day I spent almost entirely by myself.
Early in the day, amid the pouring rain, I met an old lady who came over to wish me a Buen Camino. She took my hands and wished me a safe journey and then paused. Are you alone? Yes. I said. Feeling quite proud. Viajo sola. And then she seemed rather afraid and warned me of a group up ahead.
Well, what could I do? I had to keep walking? And exactly how threatening could this group be? Would my walking poles prove an effective method of self defence?
I saw no such group. But it was enough to throw me off balance a bit, which is a shame because my main experience of the Camino is that it’s very safe and friendly. Generally speaking I’ve enjoyed having time to myself to take in the landscapes and have space to think as well.
However, some advice is advice worth noting! Enter another concerned old lady this morning. When considering two alternative Camino routes she pointed to the one of the right saying “duro”, shaking her head and looking fearfully in the direction of the said route. Works for me! I took the easier route and I’m glad I did. I’ve managed a really good day’s walk and I’m now in an incredible hill-top town called La Faba, about to have dinner at a kooky vegetarian hostel.