Camino de Santiago: Day 16 (Christina)

From Villacazar de Serga to San Nicolas del Real Camino (38.2 km)

I am awoken this morning by a firm hand shaking my shoulder.  What? What? I mumble.  You must get up now. It will be a hot day today and you must start early before it gets too hot.  I sleepily turn  to see Alarco´s earnest face.  I grumpily turn my back to him and say: What I need is more sleep. But it is too late, I am awake.

I had a bad night last night. My stomach was off and I woke up several times with diarrhea.  And I had a bad case of insomnia. After just a few hours of sleep I awoke and I couldn´t quiet my mind enough to go back to sleep.  Finally around 5:00 am I fell asleep only to be awakened an hour later.

I feel crappy today.  I walk to the first town with Marco, the Lithuanian man who tells me more about his life story.  He really appreciated our dinner conversation and it encouraged him to open up. He had an abusive past with an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother.  He could relate to the issues I am struggling with in my marriage as he has faced similar problems in his relationships.  He is very self aware and insightful and so interesting to talk to.

We stop for a coffee at the first town where I again run into Chris.  I am dying to tell him I have discovered what is next in my life, but he is engrossed in conversation with Richard, an Australian vineyard owner.  I just mention to him that there´s something I want to share whenever we get a chance down the road so literally down the road, when I stop for a lunch break, he stops and joins me.

I share my news and my excitement is contagious.  But there is lots to think about and to figure out now.  Do we continue travelling?  Do we start making plans now to go home?  And what about Chris?  What does he want to do?  Chris is ready to follow me and support me as I pursue my dreams and I get annoyed by this.  Why is he so willing to sacrifice his own dreams for me? He thinks he is being noble but I feel like he is hanging on my coat strings.  And there we leave the conversation for now.

We walk together along this 17 km long, flat and boring road that seems to go on forever. I am struggling today.  I am tired, my feet hurt (what´s new), and my stomach is upset.  All I want to do is lie down by the side of the road and curl up into a ball.  But I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Chris sees I am having a hard time and tries to take my bag from me but I stubbornly refuse his help although I do hold hands with him, mainly to help me stay standing and focused. Chris,on the other hand, seems to be doing great.  When we finally reach the next town, I am done, can´t walk another step.  Chris is ready to continue on to the next town 6 km away.  Erin and Cameron are here too and are getting ready to walk on.

When I check out the Albergue, it is one of those large open dorms with 80 beds in one room.  It´s awful and I cannot bear the thought of staying here when I am feeling so poorly.  Chris suggests I take a taxi to the next town.  Finally we end up taking a taxi together to a town about 15 km away because we like the description of the Albergue there.  It only cost 15 Euros and was worth every penny.  I think Chris is a little worried about me and wants to stay close; I´m a little worried about me too so I don´t mind the support at all.

The Albergue turns out to be just as described, a modern building with beautiful facilities.  We are given a dorm with 3 bunks and we are the only ones in it.  After the usual routine (although Chris takes care of my laundry for me), I head to bed for a nap where I sleep deeply until dinner time.  Chris awakens me and I reluctantly get up and eat a little, and then go straight back to bed where I sleep soundly through the entire night.


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One Response
  1. Angus says:

    Hi Christina,

    I imagine it must be great to have someone to take care of you for a change when you’re feeling under the weather.

    You’ve made it past the 400K mark, wow! What an achievement. You and Chris should be so proud.

    I’m really happy that you have found what you want to do but I wouldn’t deviate from your current plans. The next career can wait, it will always be there but you’re on a once in a lifetime adventure and have no idea what the next 6-12 months have in store for you. See the rest of the world, who knows maybe your dream will change or maybe you’ll add to it. Who says you’ll end up in Ottawa when this is all over (but I really hope you do).