Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Camino 2016 05/24 - Slowly I learn, Step by Step

I awoke at 5:30am. Then 6am. Then 6:30am. Two years ago people seemed to use their mobile devices, if they brought them, personally. This time, it seems as though we must all listen to their mobile phone alarm clocks going off at various times. I at first was irked, as many trying to sleep in would, but realized that they, like my ex and like my husband, hit snooze repeatedly to slowly wake up.

Since I go to bed earlier I just wake up and start my prayers. In an ideal situation, given the beauty around us, I'd get up and do them facing the river or views. But in an alburgue with bunk beds, it's fine just doing so from your spot.

I chose to continue to use the bag service to transport my backpack to the next town. I've resigned to using it for the time being until I have the blister situation under control and a much better understanding of why my hips are hurting up steep inclines. My day pack with lunch, water, and medical necessities weighs 7 pounds and that doesn't seem to be an issue for me hip.

I left at 7:40am thinking that at my normal speed, I would get into Pamplona 11:40am or noon with a break. And all that depends on who I meet along the way. I wasn't sure who I would meet since everyone in my dorm left before me.

I said goodbye to the lovely Puente de la Rabia bridge I shared yesterday and started up the hill. Two years ago, Rev. Canon Joanna Satorious who just returned from Camino warned me that since old towns were by rivers, you often left every morning heading uphill to leave the town. As I crested the hill, I saw a huge mill and industrial area. Not exactly promising.

But it's a day of gradual downward walking so I kept my hopes up. Soon I came across Diane and Claude from Ottawa. Diane is the nurse who sat with me in the sun yesterday as we awaited a store to open from siesta so that we could buy compeed for blisters. She only had one but it was big and at a bad spot on ankle. A lovely couple, he a network system business owner who works mostly with the government, they shared their stories about their two PhD kids, one at Oxford studying church history the other at Yale with art history. We split at Larrosoaña so that Diane could rest her foot.

Yesterday I only ate half my apple, half a sandwich, 1/3 of my chips, half my dinner. I still don't have a great appetite to eat a whole meal. I get tired and then the food seems unappetizing. This happened before. The sight of French fries on the Camino last time truly nauseated me, and the Spanish include it with many pilgrim menus. I ate the remainer of my half apple, core and all. It's something I noticed Europeans did and I learned last time there was no point to waste edible parts of the fruit.

I rested, ate the rest of my sandwich, and chatted with Victor from Brazil. He's a fast young man but he stops a lot to take pictures and text. I ran into Lukas and Anna, the Portuguese couple who offered me a fig a couple days ago. From where they sat, I could see Alto Del Perdòn, the high hill we climb tomorrow. They said I don't look American. Interesting how the world still thinks American means Northern European.

Found a highway rest stop and refreshed myself before the last hill before Pamplona. Then started walking in the suburb Arre with Dominique and Patric. They're retired and started in central France at their cottage. They're grandkids are plotting their journey on a map as they post photos.

I checked into a place I reserved, the Albergue Casa Ibarrola, a modernist spot with pods rather than just bunk beds at 12:40. I was slower than normal but much faster than I expected. I decided to rest and launder. I waited for a couple of nice Italian women and they let met have 20 minutes of their dryer time when they felt ready. I washed everything. It felt so good to have laundry that smelled clean and not handwashed. And I gave thanks for those like my friend Rev. Nat Katz who work with Laundry Love and those who must choose between rent and food and laundry.

I walked around Pamplona. I came to Spain last year with my parents and it was fun reminiscing about the lovely walk through the old city with them.

I'm feeling grateful. No heatstroke, frostbite, or even new blisters today. What a joy! Homeostasis was giving me room to heal. The lovely forest walk had few hills over the 21 km. 

For those who know I walk quickly, I'm walking about 1km (0.6 mile) an hour slower. The pedal to the metal types know that can be frustrating but I'm actually accepting it as the price of healing faster. 

And with that, I kept meeting wonderful people from awesome places around the world. Alix leant her sandals to Diane because she saw Diane in such pain from a blister (I saw it last night. It was worse than any of mine). People lending cash when the ATM doesn't work in another country. 

It feels like what the world should be as we walk together. May we remember those from other lands who struggle with healing and safety as they try to make their way in the world.

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