Post 17 – June 17, 2016, Live it; this is a gift

The Camino de Santiago,
  the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 17; June 17, 2016, Friday all day. Zarautz, Spain
Day Three: Zarautz to Deba, 24 Km.
Live it; this is a gift.
We lose a friend.

  We left Zarautz at a reasonable hour. Carlos and I wanted coffee immediately. Leo joined us. We left our friend and pilgrim Gabriela behind. She wanted “to stay another day” in Zarautz. I suppose she’ll get mad if she reads this, but basically, she had had enough. She was tired, sore, beaten, and didn’t think she could go on, so she didn’t. Carlos said Gabriela has quit the Camino.
  So, Carlos, Leo and I walked along the first stage of the route and we chose the lower route along the sea, the lower coastal option. And it was beautiful. Amazing, a must see for future pilgrims. And as we got closer to Getaria, we all noticed how perfect the town seemed. So clean and picturesque. The beaches, boats, people, houses, buildings, all beautiful.
  And then we came to Getaria. This is “on the nose writing” (I think that’s what they call it). Basically, I’m writing this as it’s happening. We went into the Church of San Salvador which is at the center of the town. That was the moment I really felt I was finally back on the Camino. The Camino was starting to take its effect on me. And it was good (a nod to Hemingway). I slowly . . . walked up the famous tilted floor and joined the other pilgrims saying their prayers. And there was such a Spirit there. Indeed, I felt He had a word for me.
  We are now just outside the church at a little café called Izarri Okindegia (“bakery”) sharing stories and plans, and promises, and we feel “high.” We are starting to feel strong. Indeed, as I’m writing this, Leo says he’s going on while Carlos and I stay here to write. Leo says he has some things to think about. Yes, we are indeed, back on the Camino. This Path talks to you. So . . . listen.
 . . . I was wondering if Gabriela had made it just a little farther . . . she would have experienced this. I was thinking how I see people quit—just before their breakthrough. (Don’t be mad at me Gaby, if you read this. Just know that Carlos and I enjoyed the Camino with you.)
  We are meant to be here. I think you were meant to be here.

  Later in the day. Carlos and I have made it as far as Elorriaga. We are sitting in a little tavern, Toki-Alai in Elorriaga. Carlos chooses a beer to cool off (not from the day, but from the fight), and I choose coffee. We passed through two beautiful Spanish towns, Azkizu and Zumaia where I was again totally reminded of siesta. Because we were desperately hungry and thirsty, but everything was closed. It was 1:30 p.m. to about 2:30 p.m. Nothing open. The two towns were beautiful, clean, welcoming, but dead. No one around. So we had to go about 9 Km more to get a bite, enjoy a drink, and get ready to carry on. Well, except for a small food truck along the road, just before getting into Elorriaga. The guy behind the counter was an old guy (in attitude and demeanor; unnecessarily old) who proudly displayed a rather large Che Guevara flag. Carlos, a Cuban, was offended and asked to buy it from him (telling me confidentially that he would then cut it up and get rid of it). The vendor-man said he would never give up the flag, that he displayed it proudly. So then Carlos and this man go at it . . . in Spanish, so I missed the discussion. But. (Period intended, read The History of Love, by Nicole Krause) Carlos told me later that the man saw himself as a revolutionary. Carlos sees Che as a murderer, that murdered his brethren. And was a murderer opportunist in any event.
  Well, all I can think of to say, so I say it is, “Che Guevara seems like the antithesis of what the Camino is all about.”
  Elorriaga is a little Spanish town. Like a block long, and the café has six customers, four local and two pilgrims. But the two pilgrims (me and Carlos) still have to make it all the way to Deba, and the day is getting late. I’m exhausted and, of course, we might not be able to find available beds in an albergue.
 . . .
  It’s 7:11 p.m. We made it!! We have beds! I’m so happy. We are in Deba. We checked in to the first Albergue in the Perazzoli/Whitson book, page 58. They put the Camino stamp in my Credencial del Peregrino, which reads “Santiagorako Bideen Debako LaGunak.” The albergue looks new and very clean, washer and dryer, and I have a lower bunk bed (I fall out of bed all the time). Total price 5 Euro. Cool. Now Carlos and I found Café Atozte, we are drinking red wine and eating tapas, and talking to everyone around us. We know Leo made it; we saw his name signed in at the Albergue and we already compared trekking notes and places to eat with Julia, a trekker from Australia.
  Life is worth living . . .
  The Camino brings you right front and center into life and says:
    live it, this is a gift.
 . . .

Apple watch log for the day:
  Active cal: 1382
  Total steps: 31,743
  Miles: 17.06