Post 43 and 44 – July 13 and 14, 2016, People get ready! Happiness—just deal with it!

The Camino de Santiago,
 the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 850km, 530 miles.
Post 43, 44; July 13,14, 2016, Wednesday, Thursday.
Day 29, 30: Berducedo through Castro to A Fonsagrada. On The Camino
Primitivo; technically Stage 7 and 8 of the Perazzoli/Whitson book, TNCs.
People get ready!
Happiness—just deal with it!

 Camino friends. I’m sitting here and writing this in the kitchen of our Albergue Cantabrico (10 Euro, 24 beds) in the little Spanish town of A Fonsagrada. Page 245 of our guidebook, Perazzoli/Whitson, The Northern Caminos (“TNCs”). I’m getting my bearings. Everything has been just fine since stage six of the Camino Primitivo. Stage six was from Campiello to Berducedo, probably the greatest day and the toughest climb (990m) on the Camino. Then we trekked from Berducedo past Grandes de Salime to Castro, basically stage 7. Then, today, we trekked from Castro to A Fonsagrada, basically stage 8 of the Camino Primitivo. We don’t always start and stop exactly at the specific town mentioned in the guidebook, “TNCs,” because sometimes beds are not available in the town, and we either have to go past the town or go back . . . to look for a place to stay, and after all, there are more of us now, and we’re friends, and we want to stay together. Camino friends.
 So . . . two days have gone by, and now I sit here in this little kitchen and see all our friends going about their business. The kitchen is next to . . . everything, the washing machines, the showers, the bathrooms, and the beds . . . so I’m in the midst of everything going on . . . because I’m sitting in the kitchen.
 There is such a strong vibe on the Camino now. The main vibe is . . . we . . . are . . . getting close to Santiago de Compostela. Just about five or six stages away, five or six days—depending on how fast we go. And, I guess the other vibe is . . . we’re all happy, and dealing with it as best we can.

 Today started strong. Maybe because last night in Castro was great. We stayed at Bar/Albergue Juvenil (13 Euro, meals) (Page 243 of TNCs). The albergue was very clean, they did our wash for about 2 Euro, the meals were good, and the trekkers had lots of fun. We even played a weird game: Knock-knock ghost. Hmmm. Interesting. The beds were cramped as usual, but most of us really slept well. There was minimum snoring, and we were up by 6:30 a.m. After a pilgrims’ breakfast, the core group assembled at 7:30 to start the trek: Carlos de la Camara, Leo Schlienger, Willi Ochs, and me; also, Christina and Carole from Switzerland; Jessi and her two sisters from Idaho; the two brothers, Angelus and Ted, from Indiana; Alberto Carlos from Spain; and, Serge from France. And we headed off. It was an easy trek day: about 26km. and only 520m ascent. And, by now, we are seriously strong. Stay strong start strong.

 We all really enjoy how we have come together, no planning of this whatsoever, and now we basically all trek together, eat together, do our wash together, sleep together in the same room, take care of each other, talk, console, help, refresh, and . . . be at peace. We enjoy the clarity of unconditional friendship. All positives. And even if we get spread out on the path during the day, no problem, we plan to meet at the next stop, A Fonsagrada, and all stay where we are right now, at Albergue Cantábrico, which was highly scoped out by Jessi and her two sisters from Idaho (they do great recon on the next stops).

 And so we get ready for what’s coming. Expectation is good. We have all worked on something in our life. Doesn’t matter what, although we have talked about whatever “it” is constantly. Everyone talks, and it’s all so good. And when an hour goes by, or more, with no talk . . . and we walk, step by step, step by step . . . we grow.

 The days are long. They start in one city and end in the next. We absorb the towns as best we can. Today, we were mostly in the mountains, then came into El Acebo where we had lunch – and this was where we basically had made the transition from Asturias to—GALICIA. We have come into the province where Santiago is located and . . . we talked about it. What to expect, how to accomplish the permanent good changes in our lives that we want, that we don’t tell the outside world too much about, because being on the Camino can’t be explained very easily. So, we get ready. The days are long, and it’s a good thing. If only life could be like this all the time. Nice long days, filled with peace, experience, and growth. We know that peace is mostly an inside job, but it does seem clear to us that God has placed certain areas in the world for people to go to . . . to really feel and be at peace. Even for a while. Maybe just to get a baseline. To know.
 And so, we trekked on. And one by one reached today’s destination, picked out by the Idaho sisters, Cantábrico. And before we know it, we are all here, we’ve checked in, got our pilgrim passports stamped, we’re planning a pilgrims dinner, we’re planning to play games tonight, we’re doing our wash, and
 . . . I sit here in the little kitchen, the vortex of energy, and I see so many friends around me . . . doing, preparing, talking, singing, folding clothes, laughing, writing, and before all of this, I only knew one of them, Carlos de la Camara,
 and now I know all of them.
 Camino friends.
 People that really want to be ready
 and they know what that means.

 Santiago is coming.
 . . .

Albergue Juvenil, Post 43 44, Carlos, Willi, Leo and Tom
Albergue Juvenil in Castro, Carlos, Willi, Leo, Tom

Crossing the line from Asturias to Galicia, Post 43 44, Tom
Crossing the line from Asturias to Galicia

Heading to A Fonsagrada, Post 43 44, Carole, Christina, Carlos, Tom
Heading to A Fonsagrada, Carole, Christina, Carlos, Tom

A Fonsagrada, Post 43 44, Christina, Leo, Tom Sampling Octopus!
Made it to A Fonsagrada; Christina, Leo, Tom, Sampling Octopus!