thehealingpilgrim’s travelblog 51

The days travel to Estella was, on the whole quite uneventful- just walking alone all day. When i arrived at the Albergue the Hospitalereo wasn’t very Hospitalereo at all, she was having a row with 2 Gaurdia civil. She didn’t acknowledge me at all. After 5 mins as a bystander of this mini soap opera i decided to look for another Albergue. As i made my way back down the hill i saw Jose coming up the hill, i told him the hospitalereo was a bit barmy but he said this was the only Albergue that was open so we went back up the hill to pay another visit to ‘Bonkers Betty’.
There were no policemen there by now (she’d obviously sent them packing with a flea in their collective ears). We now had her full attention! She was ranting like a good un! Gradually building herself up into several rages whilst stoking her mouth with food from time to time, presumably to keep her levels of steam at max pressure- quite a task given the amount pouring from her ears and nose.
She said a few things to me but i was too tired to try to decipher the language. I n the end it was simply too much for the ever patient Jose, he donned his rucksack and announced he prefer a private hostal. As i didn’t much like the prospect of waking up in  the night to find Bonkers betty sat by my bed sharpening a knife i simply said “y tu tambien” (me too). We ended up walking another 3 km to the next town-Azqueta. The Albergue was in a sports centre! There was one other pilgrim there, Gordon McIntyre, a genetic scot from the Isle of Skye whose parents had moved to Rhodesia (zimbabwe). He had been a district commisioner for an area the size of Devon and Cornwall before running his own 56,000 acre farm, then a chap called Mugabe tipped up and that as they say was that. One of Mugabe ministers nabbed the farm and Gordon was out on his ear. He is now a professional Golfer, Coach and Caddy. Those as i recall are the facts, Gordon, the bloke, is a no nonsense, interesting and more importantly- interested chap who i spent a very entertaining evening with sat in the cafe of the sports centre overlooking the various football games taking place below. Many thanks G see you in Bristol when you compete in the British Open.

Thu 14th Jan Azqueta – Los Arcos
A great thaw is underway- the temperature has obviously risen above freezing and the snow and ice that had been covering the ground was now runnings as small rivers through the streets and tracks or had settled as huge pools of water wherever it could. A steady downpour ensued all day. The rain was joined in the afternoon by it’s equally challenging sidekick – gales! I ended up walking at a 45 degree angle all afternoon. My  kilt rode up my leg to mid thigh as my poncho snapped and cracked all about me like an epileptic windsock. There was no cover anywhere, no bars and the first person i spoke to was sometime later thet afternoon. A tough day!
I do recall however a lovely spell when for about 15 mins or so, everthing i looked at i could clearly see its energy field surroundind it. It also occurred to me how much i take my body for granted.
Our bodies spend a lifetime ‘in service’ for our soul and mind. A little bit like a faithful dog it never leaves us, it will do anything it can do to meet our demands, to the death if needs be. A lot of the time we ignore it or mistreat it but still it does all it can to protect us. How could one not love such a thing. I must try to take better care of mine than i have to date.

Friday 15th Jan Los Arcos – Logrono
What a difference a day makes!
It’s like a spring day, the birds are fluttering from tree to tree, the buds are appearing on bare branches and even a few leaves are making an appearance. I’m in a t shirt today.
I still get flashbacks of people i was with at different stages on my last camino whilst walking this one. Today i recall eating lunch at a particular picnic table with David from New York. We had grapes picked from the vines next to the Camino. Briefly walked with Sarka, a girl from the Czech Republic. She is about 6’7″ tall. She is a Horticulturist and has her own garden design business back home. At one point she studied some paw prints in the mud near a river, she thought they were otter prints and said “this is a protected animal”. I showed her my Otter pendant (the Otter is my native American birth animal). I love these random little signs.
By the early afternoon of each day my feet start to ache. By the end of the day, they have totally had enough.

Saturday 16th Jan Logrono – Najera
Another 30km ish day. As i left Logrono i saw a lovely church called Inglesia de Santiago el Real (16th C). I stepped inside: It was so quiet and so beautiful. I said a prayer for myself and those who have given me prayers plus many others who have not.
A ilttle way up from the church i turned a corner to be confronted by a queue of people about 30m in length. i instinctively waved (they were all looking at the bloke in a skirt). They all waved back in unison. I laughed and almost asked them to do it again so i could get a photo this time- but didn’t!
Logrono ahs an enourmous park you pass through to get out to the countryside on the way to Najera. As i was walking through this park i found myself behind a very old lady shuffling along as best she could. I had a strong feeling her spirit would be passing to the other side. I said hello as i passed but thought i should give her one of the shell necklaces i have with me for giving away when the feeling takes me. This seemed like such an occasion.
As i turned back to the lady she momentarilly looked a little worried. I slowly held out the necklace to her. She started telling me she could no longer hear but i asked not to worry. She accepted the necklace with a shaky little hand and i wished her well.  

Posted from ES
posted Sat Jan 16, 2010

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