Her Story: Travel Diary
When I woke up in the morning, I would fall straight back into bed because my legs were so sore. That really wasn’t the most motivating thing when it came to traveling, all you want to do is stay in bed all day. Also, It was only my third day of traveling.
However, I still got an early start because I had to follow Marta, since I didn’t want to get left behind by my only friend. The first people we met on our walk, were a bunch of drunk Spanish guys on their way home from a drinking escapade, and it wasn’t really the most encouraging thing when they yelled: “It’s a long way to Santiago” after us (as if it wasn’t the first thing I’d thought of that morning).
But besides that, it was a good morning, UNTIL we met the most badass lady on the Camino de Santiago. She told us that todays walk would be a level 3, which was the hardest. So after that, we (well me, to be honest) couldn’t stop thinking about how exhausting it was. And of course, that led to me falling a bit behind and walking on my own for a while, not that I minded because then I met Francesco, from Italy. He had just as much pain in his knees as I had because he had been chased by a bull earlier that day (fair enough), so not exactly something that made him like Spain particular much. Every time we passed a bush or a tree and there was a noise, he would jump up scared to death that it was a bull.
When we came to Markina-Xemein, where we had to stay the night (after walking alone, depressed and feeling like an idiot because I had to walk backwards for 2 kilometres because the hill was so steep and my knees kept collapsing). We got to the Albergue, which was a church and free – well not really; you had to give a donation.
The gatekeeper was a very nice old man, who spoke very little English. So, even though I tried to explain to him that I was from Denmark and showed him my passport, he was still convinced that I was from Poland because of my blond hair. Marta explained to me later that evening that when the gatekeeper had taken my backpack to put it in the closet, he had yelled: “Jesus Christ, does she keep her aunt and uncle in here as well?” Strangely enough, it made me feel kind of good since I wanted others to know that I wasn’t weak but that I was just stupid enough to bring a shitload of stuff that I wouldn’t need. I mean, who goes on a pilgrimage thinking a dress and nice shoes are a necessity?
Even though I primarily walked with Marta, we still met a lot of the same people everyday, which made it feel like a family. Everybody helped with blisters, foot massages and crèmes for the sore knees and feet. Well not everybody, since I was the newbie and apparently helpless, it was mostly me who got the benefits.
We met two brothers from America. One of them was seventeen and doing a lot better than I was, so we decided to meet up the next day to walk the next stage together. So, I got a good nights rest considering that I’d walked 24 kilometres that day and had another 25.5 to go the next day… Yes, 25,5 kilometres.