Friday, 17 July 2009

A Blessed Day of Relaxation and Friendships...

Sunday 5th July: Marie Eve introduced herself from somewhere down below. I was in the top bunk. She must have heard me yawn. Had she heard me snoring she might not have been so friendly. She was staying a few days after a conference in France. She was from Quebec and told me that her work was using drama as forms of therapy and expression in institutions from retirement homes to prisons.

We went to breakfast together and I met the other occupants of the room: Yola from Halland and Sylvia from Lisbon. Yola and I began to talk about what it was like getting older. Being in hostels is what I love best because you have the chance to mix with young people who are very much like you, just less wrinkly.

Yola and I both agreed that life after 50 was great. "You don't mind to let the leaves fall," she said. We created a metaphor of life as a path with obstacles in the middle like stones: the size of the stone marked the extent of the difficulty. "Sometimes you can walk around it, sometimes you crumble it. Sometimes you climb up it..." I added, and sometimes you recognise it for what it is, go back, and seek another way.

It's wonderful being the Old Wise Woman!

Marie Eve was distressed because EasyJet had lost her luggage. I said that I thought she would soon get it and gave her a comb. I spent most of the day in my impromptu "office" two chairs and a table right beside the river. What a view. You can see right out to the river estuary. I was just about finished writing up an itinerary and a budget (1 euro for every km walked - it was to work well, though I did "bank" some from the longer distances) when a woman came to reception with an obvious pilgrim pack.

She was delighted to meet me. She had walked from Lisboa and had met no pilgrims whatsoever. And there were no Albergues either: "I stayed with the Bombeiros" she said. She was from Tarragona. "We will walk together." So I had company, which was nice, and good for my Spanish too.

Supper was prepared for and by all and included Miguel from Pamplona. I asked him about running with the bulls. "Once when I was younger". Yes, 33 is too old...After supper we all went down to the river to attend the last night of the Feria. Again, despite the very exuberant Brazilian band on stage, almost no-one was dancing.

We decided on the bumper cars: Marie Eve and I chasing Miguel and Sylvia. I haven't been on bumper cars in.........!! And here I was, having the time of my life, with these total strangers as if I had known them all my life, AND, as if we were all the same age.

Oh but I do love the Camino!

No comments:

Post a Comment