As I was walking today, I realized that the Camino has the potential to either bring out the best or the worst in us. When we help others, smile, and just all around act in a Godly manner, we are becoming our best selves. When things don't go our way and we have a temper tantrum, we are showing our very worst. May the Lord bring out the very best in all of us as we continue this journey together!
So, yesterday I lost my hat. Not a terrible thing in and of itself, but I lost it before I had even taken my first step on the Camino....and my headband went with it, since both were together beside me on the bus to Burgos, and I forgot to pick them up. So, it looks like I will be wearing my bandana as a doo-rag instead of using it as a handkerchief. In spite of the fact that I spent the day walking through wheat fields, I haven't been snuffling any, so I am hoping I won't need it the rest of the trip either. Barring some sort of cold, I just might be in the clear.
Also yesterday, the alburgue I stayed in (it was a municipal alburgue--one of the many pilgrim's hostels run by the state). Not all alburgues assign beds, but this one did, and in the process, I was accidentally assigned the same bunk as someone else. It was easily fixed, but what could have been a terrible row between pilgrims was civilly and graciously handled. It also meant moving to the next floor up, but even that was minor, and the gentleman whose bunk I had put my stuff on was gracious enough to help me move.
I wouldn't have thought it was minor had it happened today--after walking today, my legs get shaky from going up the stairs to the porch, let alone 4 flights of stairs! The reason for this is simple...I got lost on the way out of town this morning and ended up walking an extra 4-5 miles. 24 km is a little less than 15 miles, and according to my iPod nano, I walked a little over 19 miles. I suspect that one of the many grafiti artists in Burgos thought it would be fun to trick the pilgrims, and I just happened to be the brunt of their joke this morning... No wonder I am tired!!
In the process, I ended up staying at a small Alburgue tonight (only 12 beds as opposed to 150 beds from last night), and met some wonderful people, had some wonderful food, and tasted some really good wine. And, really, even though I don't like the fact that I walked so much extra, I wouldn't trade being able to get all the way to Hontanas, my original destination, for the world. Tonight, this Alburgue is filled with Germans, Italians, Belgians, one Hungarian, and me. I've loved being able to practice my German, since there are 4 German Pilgrims here, and I hope to continue doing so for the rest of my time on the Camino. And, I also have enjoyed the conversations I have been having. This particular alburgue is at least 5 km away from the nearest towns, and you couldn't ask for a more picturesque place. It is located in a small grove of trees that has been planted around a spring, and rolling farmland surounds it on all sides. The downside is that there is no internet, and the generator was only turned on during dinner, so all of us only got partial charges on our devices. Actually, that could be considered a plus side, since it means that we have had to focus on those of us physically here rather than on our outside lives. I also got a cold shower, but some of that was because I was the first one to take a shower. I seem to have primed the pump, since everyone else seems to have had no problem.
The main claim to fame of San Bol is that it has a spring, which is supposed to have miraclous powers... It is said that any pilgrim who washes their feet in the spring will not have any trouble with them for the rest of their trip. I soaked my feet, mainly because they were hurting so much, but here is hoping that it also a good protection against getting blisters or other feet ailments!