Boy, it’s been a while since I’ve written about my Camino. It’s been over a year since I went and have still so much to write and share what the “post-camino” has brought to my life and is still bringing, but I can’t tell you the “post-camino” until I finish sharing my actual Camino. So here is another part.
At the albergue I was given my “bunk”, no other pilgrims were there yet. I was the first one to check in so I pretty much had my choice of bunks. I settled in and I could hear other pilgrims checking in so I proceeded to gather my things to go and take a much deserved shower. Well, I wasn’t the only one that was gathering their things for a shower, by the time I got to the showers there were 2 other ladies in there, this would turn out to be the one of the hardest things I would have to do, you see I have been body shamed for years. After I had my children I was constantly told how horrible I looked, how fat I was, asking me how I could I expect anyone to love me with my “million and one stretch marks”. Even though I had made a choice to put myself under the knife years ago to “take care” of that problem, that didn’t matter. So, trying to just hop in an open shower was totally out of my comfort zone. Well, I left my sports underwear on, yupp that’s what I did. I could not get myself to take them off, I was so uncomfortable, I bathed as best as I could and was so clumsy in trying to cover myself as I was getting the soap etc. It was the worse shower ever. I was so glad to get out of there! These are some of the things you don’t realize you enjoy on a regular basis, the pure fact that you have your own private shower, you come out and you can put on a robe and walk around you place without a thought of who is watching, if anyone is. I am sure the ladies that were in there didn’t mind me at all, they were doing their business like no one else was there. I wished at that moment that I could be like them, that I just did what I needed to do without thinking of who is around me. Well I survived my NON-PRIVATE shower. The worst was over.
I got dressed, went back into the bathroom to wash my clothes and walked to the back of the building to hang them to dry. There were other people there but I didn’t talk to anyone, they all seemed to have “partners” or a group that were together, they didn’t pay me no mind. The bunks had a drawer that you could lock up, so I put all my stuff in there, locked it and walked out. I wanted to go to the beach, I could see the beach from the albergue so I decided to walk a little, it didn’t look too far, but the more I walked in pain, the more I saw that it wasn’t as close as I thought, I came up to a bridge and I just decided to turn around and head back to the albergue.
As I walked back I stopped in a grocery store to get some things, I needed to have something to eat and some coffee in the mornings to get my energy for walking, I bought some goodies and an apple. I was worried about the weight I would add to my load with taking snacks with me but my gut told me I need to take some along the way. This is where I found my delicious lemon cookies, those would be my savior snacks. I know was on a mission to find somewhere to eat, most places looked like seafood places, and I’m so picky that it was a hard choice. Not to mention it had already been days since I had taken my BP medicine so my whole body was swollen, I had to eat even though I knew anything containing salt would only make it worse. I know I know, it was dangerous but one of pills is a diuretic and I didn’t want to have to go in the middle of the woods. I finally came to a stop, you could sit outside and eat, there were a couple of people around, but as the other days, I ended up alone. I ordered way too much food and I had my first glass of wine, day was ending on a high note. Nope, didn’t have the “pulpo” wasn’t doing it.
By the time I made it back there a LOT more pilgrims at the albergue, I now had bunk buddies, my bunk buddie would be an older gentleman, I was like, “how is this man getting up there” but he sure did without any problems, haha. He introduced himself and apologized in advance if he made too much noise. I felt so weird sleeping with so many people around me but I slept good, couldn’t complain. Either I was super tired, or no one snored throughout the night.
5am yupp people were up, lights were being turned on and all I could do was feel the pain on my feet and my legs. I finally got up and gathered my belongings, a couple from Canada made some small talk, the lady asked me if I was questioning why we do that to ourselves, and I responded with a smile, yes ma’am, from the moment I walked my first steps.
Oops, I forgot the best part of my stay. Because I wanted to “fuel” my body for the walk, I put my pack together and went to the kitchen to prepare myself some coffee before I left. For those who know me, I am an introvert in so many things, this would be one of them…I went searching for sugar, creamer, would not ask anyone, not that there were any available bodies that were in the mood to talk to me anyway, well that’s the way I saw and felt it. I felt like I was invading someone’s kitchen, looking for a mug to heat up my water, finally got one, heated up my water, went to the area where they had the sugar, creamer, salt, etc. I prepare my coffee, hey actually had some milk so I was good. I take a sip of my yummy coffee and O M G, I spit it out…I didn’t read the label right, I put SALT in my coffee….YUCKKKKK!!! Found the SUGAR, made me another coffee and off I went. Hahaha.