Day 10 Camino blog by iPhone: bear with

Today we’re in Viana, in a flat attached- loosely – to an albergue. Albergues are like youth hostels and mostly our experience of them has been good. They’re clean and friendly. Personally I like the ones with bossy rules eg don’t wash your boots in this sink: yes too right, I love it: lights out at 10 pm, doors locked till 6am.
Our first stop was run by the Dutch confraternity. Super organised and spruced despite 100+ dirty tired pilgrims coming through every day. One volunteer did our washing and drying for 2 euros. Although since then we’ve had hospitalero Josu who will do it for half that and peg it out. Weird and best not to think about it. We indulged him anyhow.
The dutchies were great and organised us rookie pilgrims, waking us gently a woman walking through the immense and mixed dorm, singing a sweet Taize song at 6am. This did seem harsh as we had staggered over the Pyrenees in vile conditions only the day before, but there’s no pussying about. On your way pilgrim.
Actually Helen and I were glad to leave, we had endured the semi final of the European snoring championship up our end of the dorm. UK were eliminated in the first round.
Some South American interlopers won that night but since then, in Pamplona a gorgeous young man from San Francisco has put in a truly massive
performance which has gone down in Camino legend. He was accompanied
by his mother who slept next to me – I thought she was the culprit – she apologised in the morning and hoped that we could spend some time together later on the camino. Not if I see you first I thought, having spent the night with ears bulging with plugs and head wrapped round with scarves, under my pillow.
Since then however despite the pilgrim meal which features mucho vino, we have slept well. It might have something to do with the 20+km a day we’re all walking. Everyone’s tuckered out and asleep by ten. Very civilised. Like.
We’ve slept in a monastery, a sparkling hotel room, a cathedral sized church in Pamplona, a pension in dismal Zubiri (crap food, great wine), a swish apartment in Estella, a swimming cubicle with bunks and a Heidi like eyrie in Los Arcos, with Josu. Only he was downstairs, rinsing out our smalls and making cake for our breakfast.
But here it’s furnished with stuff from grannie’s attic, curling orange lampshades and arcopal plates and it all feels a bit damp, dark and outdated. We are nine here. We all cooked pasta tonight. Helen are I are inthe living room in twin beds behind smoked glass doors. The others have proper bedrooms but some have double beds: we didn’t want one of those as Helen told
someone, “We are married, but not to each other.”
It’s raining and so it’s difficult to love Viana but to be fair I think it’s a (another) pretty town on a hill with a (another) stonking great church and if the sun were shining it would be lovely.
I am so enjoying the walking despite huge tiredness and sore feet. Every day when I release the laces of my boots my toes wriggle like a child’s and press sweat happily onto the cold tiles. Every morning I pack and review my stuff and wonder what I can send home to lighten the load. Nothing yet, but I am hoping to lose my sleeping bag soon as the weather improves. Hint. Please God.
Still the countryside is beautiful and lush after the grim winter we’ve all endured. Everything is bursting into life and the birds unimaginably busy. Frogs are courting and making a lot of noise about it.
We are walking and talking and laughing a lot. I realise how much we laugh. There are many quiet reflective people, contrasting with some crazy Japanese who sound angry all the time, a Korean woman in a poke bonnet quietly doing her rosary. An Australian couple listening to the Beach Boys?? Lots to smile about.
We are happy to be walking across northern Spain in pleasant company and pretty good health. We don’t know where we’ll be sleeping tomorrow but it will be ok. Viana is ok, it’s given us what we need tonight. Food and shelter and companionship. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Day 10 Camino blog by iPhone: bear with

  1. The world is at your foot step. Stride on and fill your spirit with the good and strengthen your resolve with the difficult. Bit platitudie .
    On the other hand eat loads of food as you’ll burn it off. and won’t wobble.
    LOVE kate.xxxxxxxx

  2. I found you because you followed our blog. I would so love to walk the Camino. I don’t have time to go read your adventures right now, but I send you good wishes wherever you are in your journey.

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