We’re walking the Camino de Santiago in June 2022. Come along with us!

Listen up, friends

Listen up, friends—I’m going to walk this Camino my way.

It was always going to be that way for me. On the surface, I take orders well—my bosses typically like me for this reason. But then I think it through, and I quietly do whatever I want.

The standard line is “everyone walks their own Camino”. But on the online message boards, there’s a lot of shaming, some subtle, some not. It’s not a real Camino if you don’t carry your bags! It’s not a real Camino if you ride a bike! It’s not a real Camino if you bring along creature comforts, like a journal! (The horrors!)

I’m here to tell you that your Camino can be whatever you want. And so can mine. And so can my husband’s. And thus it is spoken.

We started the day under heavy cloud cover that soon gave way to rain. Out came the pack covers and ponchos!
Met this handsome traveler along the way. That’s Santa Catalina de Somoza in the background.

Listen, I’m fine with rain. I’m fine with a steady uphill climb. But with “90% thunderstorms” and “steep incline,” I decided to call it quits at 10 miles. The next town was 6km on, and I figured a lot could happen in those 6km. In a thunderstorm. On a steep incline.

Mesón Cowboy.

So, I took a wild taxi ride through the mountains of northern Spain, with the driver talking nonstop in what was possibly just fast Spanish or maybe Leonese, as I could only pick out one word in ten. He frequently removed both hands from the wheel to gesture vehemently at the passing countryside with me nodding along in the back, hoping I wasn’t agreeing to anything stupid. I arrived at the Convento de Foncebadón (a real life old convent, y’all) just in time to hear the thunder roll in. By the time I’d figured out the ridiculous lock to our bedroom door (seriously, were people just smarter back then?), the rain was thrumming against the roof.

Every so often, I received a text from Will assuring me that he was still alive, although clearly miserable. It was hours before he showed up at the door, too weak to stand, drenched and muddy and vaguely gray. Once he removed his soaking clothes, he lay on the bed, not moving until his heart rate went from 130 to 100 bpm.

Reader, my husband climbed a mountain in a thunderstorm. I changed into dry clothes and read part of Jodi Picoult’s Wish You Were Here. One of us is clearly following the rules. The other, arguably, is having a better time.

Our lovely private room. Not pictured: 15 inch TV mounted to the wall (surely not for the nuns) and mirror in the bathroom positioned so you can see yourself squat. (Why??)
These are now officially trail shoes. Don’t tell the fashion police, but I may resort to wearing socks with sandals to dinner.

A few more notes for the day:

1. The Convento de Foncebadón has one washer (3,50) and dryer (3,00) for the building, and when four of us converged on the room at once, we worked out a compromise of shared loads and euros. I ended up folding someone else’s underwear, and we had a good laugh.

2. I have a blister. It’s not small, but I stopped the minute I felt the rub. Thank the Lord for Compeed. It should be okay in a day or two, fingers crossed. Tomorrow is downhill from the Cruz de Ferro, so that worry will be dead toenails. Or so I’ve heard.

3. i took a picture of the Denise Thiem bench. She was a woman murdered on the Camino in 2015 when she was led off the trail, prompting an international search. 💔 I feel very safe on this trail, but it’s a reminder to keep my wits about me.


One response to “Listen up, friends”

  1. I am all for the taxi.

    Liked by 1 person

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