28 August, 2014 - Molinaseca
I've stopped in Molinaseca for breakfast :)
Maybe this is too much information but I think I need to change my shirt. I've been wearing this yellow long-sleeved one every day that I've been walking so I wouldn't have to worry about applying and reapplying sunscreen.* But I think the color is attracting flies - though now that I think about it, it could be the smell...but I don't think it smells bad, I swear! I promise I rinse and/or wash this shirt every single day!
*Funny story about sunscreen on the Camino: apparently, many Europeans don't use sunscreen - some don't even know what it is! I was walking along with Almu, Andrea, and Nicole on my first day on the Camino and we had stopped on the side of the trail to rest. Before we got up to start walking again, I took out my sunscreen spray and started reapplying to my face and neck. The three girls gave me the weirdest looks! Andrea finally asked me what I was doing and I told them I burn very easily so I have to apply sunscreen every few hours. They all kind of giggled in a friendly way and Almu said that most Europeans like to get sunburnt. When they go back to work with a sunburn, it tells everyone that they just got back from holiday - like they are bragging without having to say anything. I love how much I'm learning about other cultures!
Anyway, as I was walking down the massive hills from Riego de Ambros - sloloming through blackberry brambles - I had to keep reminding myself to look backward at the sunrise. And that made me think, what if the best sunrises happen while our backs are turned? How often do we miss opportunities because we are so focused on what is ahead that we don't stop to see what is all around us?
I'll write again this afternoon once I stop for the night in Ponferrada...
28 August, 2014 - Ponferrada
Man, does this place make me miss Torino! I came into the hostel and the girl checking me in is Karla's Spanish doppelganger! Plus, I went to the supermercado to get dinner (and, let's face it, breakfast, lunch and dinner for tomorrow, too). All I need now is Karla and Alaina to run around the city with me to find a bar that will serve us tres margaritas de fragola!
It is nice being in an actual city again. Astorga was only kind of a city...it didn't feel like people actually lived there. I know they do, Astorga was just such a medieval city that it was more of an attraction than a place where people actually lived lives. It was also kind of fun coming into the city through a suburban neighborhood. I saw people on runs, on walks, walking their dogs and going to work. You can get so swept away by the old-world feel of the Camino that you forget that actual people live and work here.
I got to talk to Mom again today on the phone! She wasn't really awake when I called yesterday from the Cruce de Ferro so we set up a time to talk before she went to work this morning. I sat out on the beautiful patio under the shade of a few trees in front of the albergue. Mom was so happy to chat and sounded so excited for me. She's been forwarding all of my emails on to the whole family and she is going to send me all of their replies. It'll be fun to hear from everyone. :)
I was thinking about going to mass tonight again. The albergue is run partly by the church next door so I feel kind of obligated but I think I will just go to bed early and pray before going to sleep.
It's a very early day tomorrow. I'm going to try to leave by 6am; partly to give my things to JacoTrans so they are sent ahead to Villafranca and partly because I will be walking through vineyards during the hottest part of the day and I would like to avoid as much heat exhaustion as I can. So I will sign off for the night and prepare for a long trek tomorrow.
Dear God, thank you for helping me appreciate my experience here on the Camino - the people, the places and the scenery. I can't wait to take in more of your glory tomorrow. If it is in your will, please help me meet mew friends as well. I am starting to feel a bit lonely. Amen.