Pushing through pain on The Camino will produce one of two results. You’ll reach the desired destination victorious or your body will teach you who’s boss. Video In hotel-Burgos
After discovering I had tendinitis, I surrendered and relaxed for three days. It’s well known on the Camino, there’s always an option to take a bus or cab to the next village, if you find yourself unable to continue. It was my turn to push Camino guilt aside, I hopped a bus to Burgos, checked into a hotel and for the entire first day, held up in my room, relaxing, recovering, and savouring being alone.
In every village, town and city along this historical pilgrimage, I’ve been amazed by the kindness of the Spanish people.
The day I arrived it was raining and I went to buy groceries. It was no surprise to me when I found myself lost in a new city. I stood underneath an archway examining my map when a gentleman asked me if he could help. Even though he was walking the opposite direction, he turned and walked me personally to my hotel, pointing out places and people. I understood very little of what he said, his kindness was a gift and was offered selflessly.
Another day, I was looking for a sport store to buy new runners. I was on the corner looking at a map, when a young man approached, asking if I knew where the bus station was. I felt good to be able to help, we located it on the map. It was across the street and over two streets. I smiled at him and marveled, how we can communicate even without a common language.
When the light changed, he insisted I cross the street. It became clear, he thought I was looking for the bus station. He asked if I needed him to walk me there. When I declined his offer to chaperone, he walked off happy to have helped a pilgrim. The Spanish are so gracious, they help even when you don’t actually require any!
The result of having tendinitis has been that I’ve had to walk slower. Walking slower has changed my Camino. Due to my slow pace, I’m the one people walk pass, with that there is now an opportunity for them to talk. With the sign on my back: “what are you grateful for” it engages many people.
My Mothers Day walk offered a unique twist. A young Texan named Daniel, gave me the gift of company. We walked together for hours, then happened upon, what we affectionately called a Hippie Alburge. It came complete with a fantastic, if not unusual, host from Germany. He stayed to work at the place, after falling in love with the relaxed atmosphere over a year ago and has no plans of leaving.
I napped in the hammock, watched a donkey steal someone’s lunch, found comedy in the interaction between chickens, geese, dogs and a heard of sheep. I cooked dinner for the first time in weeks, sat around a campfire with new friends, then slept in a teepee. Without question, a unique Mothers Day. There’s a pilgrim tradition to walk the Camino at night. It seems unusual and unsafe, however, it turned out to be a night of laughter, new friendship, bar hopping, singing, sharing life experience, a police chase, (or something like a police chase) and a sky filled with Spanish stars. We walked from 6p.m. until 2 a.m. We giggled ourselves to sleep under the night sky. By morning it was cold, damp, uncomfortable and the pilgrims were cranky. Coincidentally, we were camped out next to a 5* hotel. It didn’t take us long to decide to treat ourselves to private rooms with big bathtubs. Excellent decision!!
There’s never a dull moment on the Camino. It is filled with pilgrims who nurture your spirit, open new doors, teach you, inspire you and often walk on the next day. It’s important to make every moment count here, you never know if you’ll seen these people again. It’s a brilliant metaphor for life.