Post 18 – June 18, 2016, Looking for the lesson of the day

The Camino de Santiago,
  the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 18; June 18, 2016, Saturday.
Day Four: Deba to Markina-Xemein, 23 Km, supposedly.
Looking for the lesson of the day.

 We made it to Markina-Xemein. This is Tom writing. We are sitting at a restaurant named Vega and it is packed with people. It’s about 4:00 p.m. Mostly locals are here and lots and lots of kids. I’m sitting here with Carlos, and for awhile Ana and Alexander from St. Petersburg Russia, Juliet from Australia, Miguel from Germany, Leo from France, and many others. The current theme of the discussion is simple: wow, that was a really long hard slog between Deba and Markina-Xemein. A few of us are nursing injuries, soreness, or something else. Young or old, it was a long hard slog. And should I mention the conditions: chilly, windy, and raining all day, sometimes it was a classic hard rain. I was soaked through my rain gear. So, most often the path was really just mud and rocks and a stream of water. We were all separated most of the day, left to slowly plod forward on our own as best we could. At times my trekking poles were used to pole vault across nasty puddles/ponds of water blocking the path.

 The challenge is just like Perazzoli/Whitson say in TNCs, there are basically no services along the way (Carlos noted two exceptions below), it is just one long hard trail. It was beautiful at times, sure, but you had to stay focused on the path right in front of you or you would easily slip and fall, straight into the muddy rocky path/stream. Which some of us did several times. And we wait for the lessons of the day.

 Wow! What a fantastic day! This is Juliet from Australia. Tom let me put in a few words. I really enjoyed the rain. It was kind of fun. And beautiful. But, yes it was a really long hard hike. And, I need to understand the mileage. Why does the guidebook say the distance is 23Km? Do they mean as the crow flys, or something else? My pedometer app says we did about 28km, or 17.5 miles. And it felt like more. And my notes compare almost exactly to Tom’s and others at the table. Let’s get to the bottom of this! Of course our devices measure every single step so whatever—we’re not stuck on the path at all times.

 Comments from Carlos as we’re eating. He reminded us that early on we did find a Tavern along the way. We think it may have been in Olatz. See page 59 of TNCs. We had coffees to warm us as best we could, as the barkeep told us of the challenges of running a little tavern on the Camino. There are, apparently, a lot of regulations. He spoke in Spanish and Carlos interpreted. He was from Venezuela and was basically tired of governments and regulations. He was a sorry soul. And then there was the time when at a bend in the path, there was a farmhouse and a Camino sign saying we had 10 Km to go to get to Markina-Xemein. A little girl and a little boy had set up a table with cold drinks and some cereal-bar snacks and fruit. We all bought something from them. They were so cute and the girl was so fastidious about getting us the right change for our purchases that she always gave us too much back. So, we tipped her and her little brother. At one point she went running back into the farm house really happy and excited, I guess to tell her mom. And the cows, goats, and horses looked on . . . in the rain.

 And lastly, Harold Rosenberg here. I did pretty well. No major injuries or soreness. I’m just mad at the stress coming from my office. It’s so hard to be away from a busy law office. Trying to be detached from such an attachment is about as hard as it gets. So here I sit with the others, distressed, trying to rally the troops back at the office to get something right. Maybe I shouldn’t have checked in, but sometimes you get reception when you hit the little towns. At times I just miss the café at home, my harp (I play the harp), I miss my band members, and mostly my wife, Shirley. Okay, enough from me. I asked around the table for the lesson of the day
 and I didn’t get an answer.
 So far.
 . . .

Apple watch log for the day:
 Active cal: 1495
 Total steps: 32,843
 Miles: 17.80