After walking through the town I was finally able to see more of the amazing views I would be enjoying on this trip, blue skies and grapes everywhere.
During my research some people said you didn’t need much training, others would say…train, train train!!! Well on my first day I would learn that I SHOULD HAVE DONE MORE TRAINING ha ha…
As I entered the dirt roads and what seemed like endless trees, I was feeling really good, taking pictures and still in shock that I was actually there, walking like so many others have done before me. I didn’t feel weird on my own, I didn’t feel unsafe. I noticed so many white little butterflies all around me, I felt they were my company along the way. At times it seemed like I was in a fairy tale forest with the trees covered in moss, I felt like all of a sudden I would see fairies flying by. All was good until I came to my first part of walking UP, oh boy, as soon as my heart rate raced up, the first things out of my mouth were, “WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING HERE?” “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” Yeah, it was a little too late to turn back now right! But I remembered what others said too, it’s YOUR CAMINO, YOUR PACE! So guess what I did, I stopped, caught my breath and kept going.
Remember, I had NEVER done anything like this, did I mention NEVER!!!!
After walking for a few hours, I couldn’t and didn’t have the desire to even take pictures. I was questioning everything, why in the world would I even think that I could do this. I know I wrote the WHY but, all I could think at that moment was, I just couldn’t do it, I wanted to quit and it had only just begun.
I finally came up to a café, it was around noon. I saw some pilgrims sitting outside and I smiled as I walked by and went in to order something. I had no idea what to get, I just felt so lost. So, I ordered a coke and a ham and cheese sub. When I got it I just stared at it for a little while, that thing was HUGE, I was like, I can’t finish this! I tried to go sit outside to see if I would strike a conversation with any of the groups outside, as I stood there looking for a seat I just saw everyone in their own world, laughing and talking amongst them, no one even looked up. I went back inside and sat by myself. I took a bite of my sub, it was really good and I was so hungry, the coke tasted different, but I drank it anyway! Lol
I felt the locals were just staring at me, not in a bad way, just like feeling sorry for me because I was alone. After walking those few hours, I still felt clumsy with the poles and my pack. I walked to the bathroom crashing into everything, I splashed some water on my face to freshen up before I continued on. I walked outside to get going and saw that almost everyone that had been sitting outside was gone. So I followed the ones that were just passing through, boy was I in trouble again, the next part was going UP!!! Yupp, here we go again. I was stopping almost every 5 minutes, it was crazy. I finally began walking in a straight line again but after walking since 8 in the morning and seeing that it was already like 4pm, I looked at my phone to see how much longer I had to walk to get to O’Porrino. When I saw that it said like another hour, I was like “oh, hell no.” I found a huge rock by the road and I sat down, with pack and all. At that moment I felt so alone, and I was done, my body could not move, I mean literally. I felt the heaviness of my pack, I felt my legs were glued to the ground and tears starting flowing. Who to call, who to reach out to at that moment. That’s when I posted a message on the Camigas page, asking for help, like the Camigas would be able to just fly over and pick me up. What were they gonna do? I had no idea that even though they would not be able to pick me up, the support and encouraging words that I received with that post was just AMAZING and some would now be checking in on me throughout my journey.
I couldn’t post any of this on my page because all I could think of was family commenting, “I TOLD YOU, YOU COULDN’T DO IT,” which would just add to that small voice in my head screaming at me “see, you are a quitter” “how embarrassing that it’s only your first day and you are already calling a taxi.” My body and my feet hurt, but my heart hurt even more because I felt like a total failure. Most of us say that we are our worst enemy, well that includes me for sure, I AM MY WORST CRITIC AS WELL. My head was screaming to get my ass up and keep going, my body shut down completely and told me, YOU AIN’T GOING ANYWHERE!!
I needed a taxi, so I searched and just called, I didn’t care about roaming, about what my bill would look like, I just could not take ONE MORE STEP. I heard a voice on the other end, and of course what was the first thing he asked me, “WHERE ARE YOU?” I lost it, I started bawling!! I had NO IDEA where I was, how was he supposed to come get me if I couldn’t even tell him where I was. He asked if there were any signs, any houses around. I said, well yeah, there are houses, sitting right outside one. The next words out of his mouth would be like telling me to go steal something! He said, “well, go knock on the door”, he had no idea what and who he had just asked to go do that! YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT AGAIN!!! MEEE, GO KNOCK ON SOMEONE’S DOOR, ARE YOU NUTS?
You see, I can ask for help for ANYONE and EVERYONE EXCEPT for myself. Facing my giants had begun, the first lesson of my Camino had just presented itself.
The Camino Provides!!
I had no choice, how else was I going to get this taxi driver to come get me. So I drop my pack and walk over to the gate, here it goes. I rang the doorbell, it didn’t take long for a lady to open and all I could say was, “can you please tell the taxi driver where I am”, of course my voice is cracking, tears are just rolling down my face. Her facial expression changed instantly to one of worry, she told me “oh my, no, no, don’t cry, you’re ok” she got on the phone and told the driver where I was. She asked if I was alone and I turned to look at my pack and I said yes, she walked over and picked up my pack and my poles and invited me into her front yard. At a patio table, there was another older lady sitting there and offered me the other chair, the one that opened the door asked me if I wanted some grapes, and I said yes, I would love some, so she went and brought me a handful of grapes and even some fresh pears. As I sat there waiting I thought, well I think I just encountered my first Camino Angels. Both of them were so sweet to me, they asked me questions and told me I was brave for even attempting this by myself, they didn’t realize that I was so ready to quit and it was just my first day! The Angels opened their doors to a total stranger, the tenderness I felt was indescribable, they were really concerned about the shape I was in. The taxi didn’t take very long and he too was worried, I wondered what would happen in our world, at home, would we open our doors to a stranger? Would we offer the same kindness and tenderness and comfort to someone we don’t know? What do you think?
Thanks for reading…of course stay tuned!