I didn’t realize what an education it would be. It’s just one of the many surprises – learning things about yourself while walking the Camino de Santiago. We still have a long way to go. But I’ve learned a lot;
- It’s a job. You get up every morning and you get the work done. Sometimes you are more enthusiastic than others. But you do it anyway. You go to work. You do the work. Then you relax. Then the next day you do it again. It’s the same each day but it’s also different and surprising each day.
- You realize you know more Spanish than you thought. That forty-year old Spanish class from high school slowly resurfaces in your brain. When you don’t have the skill to communicate you use all the languages you know with charades and miming and you manage.
- You learn to say good morning in a nine different languages. Buenes Dias, Bom Dia, Bon Jour, Guten Tag, Bon Giorno, Konichiwa, AnYong Ha Say Oh, God Morgen, Cheers.
- You spend a lot of time thinking about and administering to your feet. The rest of the time you are thinking about your next meal and wondering if it will include vegetables.
- You check the weather forecast frequently. Less to find out about walking conditions and more to find out if you should wash your underwear and if it’ll be warm enough for it to get dry before the next day.
- You find yourself doing the sniff test. Hmmm. Sure, I can wear that one more time.
- You realize you have become the Pemco socks and sandals guy. You’re one of us.
- You accept it’s good hair day if all the soldiers stay in the ponytail all day.
- You learn you really only need sunscreen on the left side of your body. Think about it.
- You are proud of your sock tan line.
- You learn to sleep and change clothes in a room full of strangers, not all the same gender.
- You find yourself learning to cop a squat in places you never would have gone pee before. You learn you have no choice. You gotta go you gotta go.
And number twelve in my opinion, is the single biggest issue on the Camino. The Spanish government desperately needs to address the lack of facilities. As we approach 300 miles we have never seen a public restroom. Never. Nada. Niente. Nunca. You buy a coffee and use the facilities; or when you have to, you pee in the bushes. Sometimes there are neither coffee bars or bushes. It’s both a problem and a public health issue. I really hope government will address it and do so soon.
284 miles done. 205 to go! 😇