Camino de Santiago: Day 13 (Christina)

From Burgos to Hontanas (29.5 km)

I wake up late this morning after a really good, long sleep.  I am amazed at how good my feet feel this morning.  I only feel one pain point this morning so I decide to keep walking and not stick around to buy running shoes.  I wonder if I´ll regret this decision.    I am on the Camino at 7:30.  It is a dreary Sunday morning and within a few moments it starts to rain.  I put on my plastic poncho with the help of a passing pilgrim – it is definitely a two girl job to get this poncho organized around my pack.  It covers my pack nicely and comes down to my knees in the front.  I think it is going to be ok.  It is cold today and I must keep walking fast to stay warm.  It is such a dull day, the kind of day you would love to just curl up on the couch with a good book and cup of tea or hot chocolate.  It reminds me of the many Sunday morning runs I have done with my sister Sonja.  We have run in all kinds of weather – storms, blizzards, biting cold, searing heat.  Nothing stops us on our Sunday morning runs.  I´ll never forget the first time it was raining when I first started running with her.  I had the nerve to call her up early in the morning to see if we were still running.  Of course, she told me perhaps a little tersly, you´re not going to melt in the rain you know.  So I imagine this morning is just like one of my Sunday morning runs and I even have a conversation with my sister (in my head of course).  There is just so much to talk about!

I spend some time thinking about how I am inclined to put the needs of others ahead of mine.  And I try to take care of other people´s feelings. On the surface this seems like noble behaviour, but when I keep putting my own needs to the side, then anger and resentment can easily take hold.  I see I need to work at being more balanced, taking care of my needs and the needs of others.  It does not need to be mutually exclusive.  Lots of thoughts are going through my mind after meeting up with Chris yesterday in Burgos.  We didn´t leave on the best of terms, and I feel unsettled by this.

For the most part, I walk alone today, but for an 8 km stretch I walk with Dave, an American from Virginia.  He is walking with this 22 year old daughter Julie but today she is walking with her new Camino friends and he has gone ahead to give her some space.  When I ask him how he is doing, he proceeds to unleash a long list of things he is stressing about.  I will call him ¨stressed out Dave¨from now on. He is a commercial airline pilot who has been doing his dream job since he was young.  Not too many people can claim that these days.  Dave seems to like to keep things on the surface and is even a little aloof, but we pass the time telling each other funny stories.

I walk alone the rest of the day.  It rains on and off all day and it is really windy and cold.  My poor poncho is not holding up well as the wind is ripping it to shreds.  I guess you get what you pay for!  Finally, I take the poncho off as it is just useless at this point and I rejig it into a backpack cover, quite effective too.

My cheap poncho seemed fine at the outset.

It´s a long day of walking and the weather isn´t all that great but I still am in pretty good spirits.  My feet are holding up pretty well, although they are cold – still barefoot in my sandals.  I enter Hontanas at around 3:30 pm ready to call it a day.  As I get myself checked into an Albergue, Chris walks in with some of his friends.  He had arrived about an hour earlier and was staying in the Municipal Albergue down the street.  It´s a little awkward bumping into him again when we just saw each other yesterday.  It seems everyone I know already knows Chris and vice versa.  We get news about each other through these mutual friends.

We are staying at different Albergues and we eat dinner in different restaurants and hang out with different people.  It is rather weird since it is a very small village, I can see Chris down the street eating his dinner with his friends.  But I enjoy having some space and appreciate that he has respected my need for space even though he doesn´t really like it or understand it.  And so ends another day on the Camino.

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