the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 530 miles.
Post 41; July 11, 2016, Monday.
Day 27: Bodenaya! to Campiello. On The Camino Primitivo.
Feeling so strong!
Always take the high road.
Wow! Leaving Bodenaya was so hard. We will all miss David, the Hospitelero. Sometimes an albergue is, basically, heaven on earth. You are “together” with some of the best people on earth, talking, telling stories, feeling so much love and compassion, so sure you want to be part of a better world . . . and listening to new, great music you have never heard before (how’s that possible? None of us have heard this music before) . . . what can you do? You have to go on. Thank you, David! And so, we left Bodenaya, so many of us, I can’t count: me, Carlos, Leo, Willie, Teresa, Vaiva, many others. One thing we knew is that we all felt so much better about our own personal Camino, thanks to a night at Bodenaya. I never felt stronger. Always, as you trek away from a great stay, you . . . try to absorb. Really, there is so much to absorb sometimes. Oh, how can I store it all and remember? I think of a discussion with Teresa. The things she did to change her life, how she did it, why, where, and the message so clear. But, how do you share that with someone not on the Camino? I’ll work on it. Still, for all of us . . . things get settled. Isn’t that the best? when things get settled, and you are so sure . . . they are.
And so we walked/trekked on. To La Espina . . . we all seemed quiet. It’s so strange to be with people from all over the world that found themselves together with no planning whatsoever, but feel so great being together. There must be 25 of us at times—and this is the Camino Primitivo. It was another 11.1km to Tineo, and we seemed to just blow past it. All I can say is that we all seemed to feel really strong. I never felt stronger. What did David feed us last night at the pilgrims’ dinner? He’s a vegetarian, and the food was fantastic. So was the wine.
So, then we trekked 12.3km—farther to Campiello. We trekked past quite a few ruins, the Iglesia de San Pedro, the Palacio de Merás, and the Palacio de los García de Tineo, and great views, vistas, and over 1000 year old worn pilgrim paths. The ascent was only 320m. Still, this has to go down as my strongest day so far, because we make it to Campiello by about 2:00 p.m. which is fast for me.
Willie and I decided to go past the normal stop of Campiello and go to Borres—a mistake. Willie is the fastest and strongest of all of us, but I kept up with him on the hills and everything, so that was great. But. It was an extra 2.3km to get to Borres, where Willie and I found the bar where you check into the albergue, so we did. About 5 Euro. Zero amenities (as we would discover). We paid, and then had to trek back to the albergue which was up a hill and in the middle of a cow pasture and—gross. Really dirty and gross. Vaiva and Teresa had already checked in, but I refused. Just the flies were disgusting. And the place was a mess. There were about 10 pilgrims there and they had decided to somehow put up with it—but for us, and especially after Bodenaya, how could we? I’m ready to put up with anything, but I had a limit. I said with great and ignorant bravado that I was going on—which I didn’t know was impossible because there was nowhere to stop or stay for about 27km. I would get stuck out in the wilderness. So then Carlos and Leo arrived, did the same thing, checked into the bar, and then walked back to the albergue, and decided—to leave. So, for the record—never stay at the albergue in Borres, in a cow pasture, dirty, and infested with flies. Disgusting.
And such is the Camino. Going from the best of the best to . . . sometimes the worst of the worst.
And things got better. Carlos arranged for us to get back! to Campiello. We backtracked to Campiello and stayed at the place in the book: Albergue Privado Casa Herminia, 23 Euro for bed, dinner and breakfast, and really worth every penny. The place was really nice, clean, no flies, and the food was excellent at the pilgrims’ dinner. Here is where we got to spend more time with the Indiana boys, Angelus and Ted, and the Idaho girls, Jessi and her sisters, Allie and Cassidy. And so, the talk was mostly of tomorrow, supposedly the best and most beautiful day on the Primitivo—and the hardest with a 990m ascent! Really! The French trekkers were planning like crazy. Clumps of people were sitting trying to figure the best was to tackle tomorrow and whether to take the infamous
high road, or the low road.
The great Carlos de la Camara, Leo Schlienger, Willie Ochs, and me, made the big decision:
We will take the high road.
. . .
Albergue Casa Herminia, Pilgrims’ Dinner