the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 29; June 29, Wednesday.
Day fifteen: From Santander to Santillana del Mar.
Head into my plate exhausted; but I’m not the only one.
I’m sitting in a café in Santillana del Mar, talking to a couple, with their children sitting close by, and they are peppering me with questions about the Camino. I’m typing away anyway, I don’t care, because I’m about to go down in flames. This building must be 1000 years old, and it does look like the city was built up in the Middle Ages. I see some Knights Templar just walked by. This is technically Stage Twelve in the Perazzoli/Whitson guidebook. And I must walk this entire little medieval town, more a “village.” I’ve already run into Erin and Andrews. So, picture this, you are in the late stage of your career (that’s what the husband said), and you want to take six weeks off to walk the Camino to really understand, lock in, find out why, where, and how to go on, and lots of other things, and you have that look on your face, and so does your spouse, and you know you are kind of locked down . . . and you get to pepper a pilgrim (like me) with questions about how’d you do it? And? You’ve (me) already done the Francés route?! Wow! So, this couple has a lot of questions for me. How, how, how did I do it? Can they do it? Indeed, they are thinking of taking the kids and doing the Francés route for a week. Wow, I, as politely as possible, suggest that the first day out of St. Jean on the Francés route is—really hard, and really long, and hard for me to see how it would be good for their kids, that look like they are about 9 and 11. And not in shape, shall we say. Too soft shall we say. This is not a walk in the park.
Indeed, I’m about to collapse, head into my plate, I’m so tired. And their questions seem so trite, I can’t take it.
So, that’s it for now.
. . .
Tom’s friend, Caesar from Valencia Spain, adding some thoughts here. Yes, it’s true, a 32.5Km trek is exhausting. We’re drinking wine, eating cheeses, eating whatever this café serves us, and hoping we can sleep soon. And yet this town is beautiful, so what do we do? Now we’re rubbing Voltarén Emulgel on our ankles and legs, one of us is rubbing Solugel Fisiocrem on her knees, and Leo is taking one Ibuprofen 400 mg tablet. And, somehow, we’re supposed to tour the town, when all we want to do is drink wine and beer and talk about the day. I tell my American friends the simple truth and they say they know it: I am doing the Camino for The Way, the path, and meeting so many amazing pilgrims and hear their stories. Sightseeing is not on my list, it is what comes naturally with The Way, and that’s all I care about. So, we all raise our glasses and toast to The Way.
. . . and soon
we will sleep.
. . .
Except: Tom says he expects tomorrow to get backliner fever . . . which is code for . . . he will tour the city.
One way or the other.
Santillana del Mar can do that to you.
. . .