Buen Camino. Good Walk. That’s the greeting you get and you give whenever another fellow pilgrim passes you by along the Camino de Santiago. There’s so much camaradrie on the route it’s amazing, not something you would find if you were on a walking tour in say New York City or Paris or even Singapore.
I survived my 25km trek yesterday fr Portomarin to Palais del Rei not without pain but it took me 9 hrs to complete when on levelled ground – and if with countryside walking experience – I would and could have done much better like my esteemed tour mates who did it in 7 hrs but nonetheless gave me a rousing cheer when once again I was the last to arrive at our pitstop.
With fresh new blisters, today’s 13km trek to Melide (pictured above) should have been a breeze but alas turned out to be a total nightmare when it took me more than 3hrs just to complete the first 5km no thanks to the severe pain my little toe on the left was giving me. At our one and only stop I made the decision of cabbing to Melide cos I know I would never made it to our destination in my condition… 😦
But out of my demoralising despair, arose the beauty of the many people on the Camino. Just to name a very few, there’s:
– the chirpy girl from New Zealand nicknamed Kiwi who greets everyone with a great smile with 2 pairs of shoes hanging on her backpack;
– a sweet Irish registered nurse – what is an unregistered nurse btw? – who was on her own n who decided to join my guide Jesus and me for company and provided key info on how to deal with blisters n the fact that there are “3,000 Irish people on the camino as we speak…”
– a lovely blonde German lady from Stuggart who would stop n check on everyone who may be feeling pain on the route (like me);
– two smiley American ladies from California and Arizona who lift up the spirits around them with their lighthearted banter;
– the American dude who bragged he has every medication there is including “I even do liposuction!”
– and last but not least, the Irish lass Mo who was planning to walk the Camino, party in Ibiza, before doing business in London decided to cab all the way to Arzua cos with a broken ankle, there’s important matters to take care of “rather than trying to be a matryr!”
So here’s to them, with a Galician beer treat toast from one of my Irish tour mates and free potato salad from the nice hotel manager at Melide’s Hotel Carlos 96, thanks to everyone I have met thus far for presenting the heart and beauty of the Camino….