the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 21; June 21, 2016, Tuesday.
Day seven of trekking: Lezama to . . . Bilbao!
To accomplish a goal: Start . . . and keep going.
The thing about a trek is that . . . you have to keep going. It’s like any goal. If you want to accomplish it, you have to start . . . and keep going. During the journey, there will be times of sheer drudgery, that plodding forward feeling, the drone of just carrying on, step by step, item by item, one thing after another. And many times, you get into a rhythm of really enjoying being part of something that has a clear beginning and an end. (Don’t give yourself a taste of stopping. The lazy taste of stopping).
Set your “end.” What does it look like? Visualize it. What will it mean to you? My friends on the trek today all seem to know “why” they are on the Camino. They want to do this. I want to do this. And the physicality (is that a word) of it drives home the point that you had better want to do this, because it is not easy . . . at all, no matter what state you’re in. I’m amazed at who has dropped out so far, and who clearly is . . . carrying on. You can’t guess easily who will drop out because the reasons are in their heart, buried, and being worked on, and not readily apparent. To set a goal and keep going until you reach it . . . comes from within.
And so this morning, we are in a little café just outside the albergue we stayed in last night at Lezama. This will have to do down as the worst albergue experience I’ve ever had. The albergue had no personality or charm and the drill sergeant woman that ran it was nasty and bossy. At one time she pretty much yelled at everyone for something, or all of us together—tossing out her orders in Basque Spanish that even some of the most fluent Spanish speaking Europeans could not understand. At one point she ordered Ashley and Hanna to go to bed—now! I think is was 8:30. Then she got on me for doing my wash, hand washing outside in the basin. Wow, I know she was not happy, but I politely told her I don’t speak Spanish, but she just kept going at me. I had no idea what her problem was. So, well, I started thanking her for telling me I’m the greatest trekker in the world, so good looking, and adventurous, and that I agreed this is the best albergue I’ve ever stayed in . . . and she kept yelling at me. And the Europeans were laughing at how I was handling it, and . . . not helping with translation.
So, from there—the day could only look up.
Everyone in that albergue was up and ready to be out of there by 6:30 a.m. We were all afraid she’d show up, and we’d have to face her again. So, there we were in the café drinking coffee. Most of us. And the rest were already sailing down the road getting out of town, as fast as possible. So we sipped our coffee and listened to songs originally by the Carpenters and Air Supply being sung in Spanish, by, I must say, a great female singer. Beautiful renditions, I must say again. The day was starting off just fine.
So, footnote, if you ever pass through Lezama—keep trekking and do not stay at the Lezama albergue, because even if the sad “yelling lady” has been replaced, the albergue is still way too small and people are really just piled on top of each other, it is only one room which includes the washers (that nobody dared use), and the bathrooms are sort of like, too close for comfort.
And so we started trekking to Bilbao.
And it was good. The day was sunny, and the trek would not be too long.
. . .
From the very worst, to the very best. Carlos, Leo, Ashley and Hanna, and I, trekked on. Sometimes the two German women were with us. We trekked through Zamudio, Monte Avril, and finally on to . . . Bilbao. Good planning on our part because we only had to trek about 15Km. That didn’t take long for us world class trekkers. We were in Bilbao in about three hours. That’s always just borderline to borderline. There’s always the tons extra walking to find where you are staying, visit places, see the churches and sites, and hang out. We went to the pilgrims museum and spend about an hour there, which was interesting. Basically, we are part of centuries of tradition: pilgrims on the Way of St. James.
Suffice it to say, that we are all tired, sore, hurting, and need recovery. Most of us are taking a rest day tomorrow, and planning it. So, shall I say, I decide to stay at the Albergue Carlton Hotel, where many pilgrims decide to stay, and I see a few now, and we chat: we are tired and in need of a short period of rebuilding.
So, why not . . . we head off to spend the whole afternoon at the Guggenheim Museum and . . . proceed to have a very fine, indeed, afternoon. Pilgrims . . . on The Way.
. . .
Apple watch log for the day:
Active cal: 993
Total steps: 25,229