I weighed my bag at the albergue this morning. It’s 30 pounds (14 kilos). I know what you’re thinking. But my pack is actually beginning to feel like a part of me, like a limb. Or, maybe more like a hunchback or a massive tumor between my shoulders. Regardless, I’m growing used to the weight.
We left Pamplona in the early hours when the city was just waking up and followed the yellow arrows out of town and into the rolling fields of wheat and grapes. I am glad to be out of the big city. I like the simplicity of the small villages. The town we are sleeping in tonight has a population of 4,000. There are three albergues, one grocery store, and hundreds of pilgrims.
Today I walked with Dennis, a boisterous Frenchman and Eric, a kind and quiet Canadian. Dennis and Eric met on the bus to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port three years ago. Eric tells me that he thought Dennis was loud and annoying and he tried his best to escape him. But their paths kept crossing and Eric watched as Dennis helped struggling pilgrims throughout the journey. “He is actually a very kindhearted man,” Eric tells me. “And I found out that the reason he talks so loudly is because he has a hearing problem. Now we are the best of friends. This is the third time we have walked the Camino together.” Dennis reminds me that things are not always as they seem.
I have developed my first blister. It is on the sole of my left foot. It is uncomfortable but I am becoming comfortable with discomfort.
The walk today was uphill out of Pamplona followed by a fairly difficult downhill. Then, we walked miles in the pounding sun on gravel roads and paths of hard-packed dirt. The last few miles are always the hardest but they make stopping that much sweeter.
I love how the Camino is a series of small journeys that make up one large one.
Today I walked 14 miles (24 km)