Another wonderful day today. Slept well. Delicious breakfast at the Austrian albergue with home made brown bread, fig jam and tea. Late leaving, nearly 8:15, sun up. Interesting yellowish light. Reddish earth lessening. Gentle hills. Fields, pines, two small towns. Easy walk. Mostly alone but as passing through each town greetings from the 7 lively Finns, the Canadians, Nando, Carmen from their tables as they were drinking mid-morning coffee.
For the first time today I worried about losing people. Last night Diana gave me a big hug and insisted we take our photo together, but only after she was gone did Norberto explain that her time on the camino was over. Yesterday many said they were going on to Logroño, and I realized that I might not see them and others again, and I felt sad. Already Federico is behind with a painful knee and Tony ahead meeting a friend. And I miss seeing the gentle French Carl who kept pace with Michel from Le Puy.
Towards the end of today’s walk I fell in with Romayne from Ireland (we met at dinner in Obanos) who works (from her home in Ireland) for BD a medtech company based in New Jersey. She was a very pleasant companion, and we walked together to Viana.
Another lovely little 8 sided chapel in Torres del Rio, open so I went in. XII c Romanesque.
Upon walking into town greeted by Maarten, Karol & Angelo. Sat down for my zumo de naranja, and greeted others as they entered town.
Maarten & I joined the 7 Finns doing their evening stretching excercises. The leader, Ilse, switched to English so we could follow. Felt great. Now sitting in plaza enjoying lovely weather. Soon off to dinner with Guylène, Cristel, Daniel and Michelle.
Haven’t seen Beate, but I have heard that she is at the albergue with 16 places that includes a communal meal.
Have I mentioned how clean the streets are here!? I can walk outside in my stocking feet!
And I met two Americans, a young couple from Kansas, Lauren & Brian.
Conversations today with several people today about affection. And expressing affection. And how on this camino you just feel strong affection for some people, even (maybe especially) without sharing a common language. Nando who speaks only Portugués effectively expresses his pleasure and affection for those of us he has walked with. He has become much more demonstrative in the last couple of days and today blew me kisses as I passed, which made me feel cherished even as I walked on alone. Maarten was agonizing about how to express affection to or ask for affection from those you love in relationships cemented by years of habit. With parents – for example – where affection can be taken for granted, and rarely expressed physically or verbally. Michel and Veera both independently expressed to me today how wonderful the other person was as they described a satisfying (non-verbal) interaction they had over almonds.
Practically perfect day.
28 Sep 2009