Post 48 – July 17, 2016, The Day Christina Cried

The Camino de Santiago,
     the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 530 miles.
Post 48; July 17, 2016, Sunday.
Day 33: From San Román Da Retorta (where we did not stay) to Ferreira (I
think) to Melide (where we did stay). On The Camino Primitivo; Past Stage
11, into Stage 12 of the Perazzoli/Whitson book, TNCs.
The Day Christina Cried

 I had three tours of the Cathedral of Santa María yesterday with Esther who is somehow connected with the church and all the priests. So I spent time with her in the Sacristy, and also was on the tour with the Idaho girls, Jessi and her two sisters, and the Indiana boys, Angelus and Ted Cococious. Then we sat at a café, Café del Centro, and had drinks and talked and talked about the Camino and what we would do when we make it to Santiago . . . and then I got the call. I think it was 7:30 p.m. by then, and Carlos, Leo, Willi, and the two Swiss girls, Carole and Christina had left Lugo at about 3:00 p.m.ish to make it all the way to—San Román Da Retorta. Wow, that was ambitious and . . . another 18Km—and we had already come from Castroverde all the way to Lugo, about 23.8 Km minimum, in the blazin sun. So we got to Lugo early, maybe about 1:30 p.m., I took the first tour of the Cathedral, we met up with everyone (and there’s a lot of “everyone”) and then, they headed out to do another 18Km—in the blazin sun. So I stayed and toured the church again, and the walls of Lugo (I’d like to say more about the “walls”; but I’m worried it’s not politically correct), and then I went back to Café del Centro with the Indiana brothers and a few others.
 I had absolutely no plans. I did that once in a while. I would just enjoy the day, not push myself, and figure somehow it would all work out. I had no bed and no idea where I would stay or what I would do. The Idaho girls found an albergue in Lugo and checked in, then the Indiana boys did the same, then some other friends—but I didn’t. I kept my backpack on, explored the city, the church, met people, and tell people on occasion that I didn’t know what I would do later, or where I would sleep. I was relaxed and didn’t care, at all. And, my backpack feels like a part of my body now, so it didn’t matter. I tried to call and text Carlos to see if they made it to Roman Da Retorta, but he didn’t pick up or respond. So, I sipped vino tinto with the Indiana boys and some friends and then . . .
 I got the call from Carlos—on Willi’s phone.
 Carlos said they made it finally to . . . San Roman Da Retorta, after at least four hours in the blazin’ hot sweaty sun and were wasted, damaged and . . . there was absolutely NO room whatsoever at the Albergue de Peregrinos, no beds, no food, no hope. Carlos said he thought of everything he could, and the only idea he could come up with is for me to get a taxi and come to San Roman Da Retorta, the albergue, pick them up and help them get to the next town, and the next albergue that has rooms, and it is 8Km away, but that’s all they can do.
 And that’s what can happen on the Camino Primitivo. You can get stranded. Apparently, the San Roman albergue was packed packed packed, and I believed Carlos because we are really starting to notice many more people on the Camino as we get closer to Santiago. The albergues are getting packed. So, I paid my bill at Café del Centro in Lugo, walked under the great walls of Lugo, and an angel was there, in a taxi (yes, this is true), waiting for me, and drove me 18km to San Roman Da Retorta to find my friends: Carlos, Leo, Willi, Carole and Christina. With my cab, and another car commandeered from the albergue, we were forced to drive ahead to the next town as the sun set to find some beds, which we finally did in—Ferreira, I think, but never really found out, because we were so blasted exhausted, and they, especially who had done 45Km, at least, for the day, were exhausted, hurt, beat up, and some, like Christina, were crying. You can get that tired.
 Oh, and the albergues that we found were just fine and, I was so excited to run into Channa Torfs from Belgium, a girl I had trekked with for several days, and I think we both really enjoyed the conversations. We both said we were sad that we had lost touch, but we fixed that quickly by exchanging all our information. And it was good. I’ve caught up with Channa, and I know how to spell her name now. And so we all ate a very late dinner and went to bed late
 and got up early
 and started trekking all over again.
 Life on the Camino.
 . . .
 And, it really was a beautiful morning. Carlos, Leo, Willi, Carole, Christina, and Serge got ready, ate a pilgrims breakfast and headed out at about 8:00 a.m. When you’re ready, and you have packed up your entire life in your backpack, you have all you need for the day, and certainly all you can carry, so, it’s time to go. And Carole today talked about how the Camino made her life simple. Clarity as to what you really need on the Camino of life. And clarity of what you no longer need.
 And so we walked/trekked from somewhere around Ferreira, through Seixas, and into STAGE 12 to Melida. Yes, again, the trek was beautiful.
 And so it is, that I’m sitting at a little café outside the church in the center of town, where all the action is. It’s 5:50 p.m. and we are so happy that soon we will be in Santiago.
 Indeed, this is the spot where the Camino Francés meets up with the Camino Primitivo. I’m going to find the exact spot soon and stand there. I was there two years ago. And, I’m glad that I’ve come back. I know without a doubt, that I’m coming close to finishing the second greatest adventure of my life, The Camino de Santiago, the del Norte/Primitivo route.
 And I shall never forget my first,

 The Camino de Santiago, the Francés route.
 . . .


Carole, Serge, Christina and Me