I slept well last night. There were at least 16 beds in my room but no snorers. That’s a notable stroke of good luck. Plus, I’ve finally given in to the Camino nighttime especial and am sleeping in my underwear. It’s too hot.
The mornings are my favorite. I love the glow of sunrise on the cobbled village streets and the orange-warm of the hills at dawn.
About an hour into our walk today the trail splits. We choose to go left on the steep path through the forest. It’s the less-traveled route. Hila and Eran walk faster than I do and soon I am alone.
I fall into a rhythm and my mind begins to wander. But as soon as it does the black flies begin buzzing all around me. I swing my handkerchief before me like a bull fighter, swatting them. They are persistent and incredibly annoying. I become disproportionately angry with the flies. “Leave me alone!” I scream and then feel a little embarrassed. But there is no one around to hear me.
It is said that the Camino gives you what you need and I think that, right now, the Camino may be sending me a message. Don’t think so much, Kim. Don’t worry. Maybe the Camino just wants me to relax and have fun? (Note to the Camino: If this is true, please lose the flies).
The sun is less intense today. The clouds are high and wispy. My blister, which I popped, doused in Neosporin, and then covered with Compeed and two pairs of socks, is holding up well.
We walk and walk. My back begins to ache. My legs begin to ache. My feet begin to really ache.
“Have you heard the Greek legend of Sisyphus?” asks Hila as we are slogging down a particularly sunbaked roadside.
“Well,” says Hila, “Sisyphus did something wrong. I don’t remember what. But his punishment was to push a rock up a mountain. Then, just before he reaches the top, he slips and the rock rolls back downhill. So he has to start over. For all of eternity he has to start over.”
“That’s a clever punishment,” I say.
“Yes. And that is what today feels like.”
“My feet are so sore,” I complain.
“My leg is not right,” says Hila. “Really. It hurts in the bone.”
“My pinkie,” moans Eran, “it so hurts.” He means his pinkie toe.
I laugh because I love Eran’s accent. He’s still mad at me because I told the chicken/feather story.
Today I walked 17 miles.
This photo is for sale in the So Many Places SHOP.