Owing to a heart complaint, not to mention that I am now in my eighth decade, I often have to split my stages into two; such was the case yesterday, when I walked from Puenta la Reina as far as Lorca, where a taxi picked me up and drove me back to my lodgings in Puenta la Reina, the same utterly charming taxi guy picked me up this morning and dropped me off in Lorca in the exact same spot he picked me up from.
He has less English than my Spanish and, as my Spanish is just a few words strung together in no particular order, and no shadow doubt, the incorrect order, it is a miracle we can communicate at all.
He asked me where I was booked to stay in Estella and was rather horrified when I showed him my information sheet. It was, he said, 2km from the Camino, through a very complicated town and was very difficult to find; he did not approve and I think he said that he was worried that I wouldn’t find the place. He had also brought along a weather forecast for me for the day. Ah, the kindness of strangers.
The walk was the easiest yet, a wide, easy to walk on, track, well signed, and only 9km to the outskirts of town. Then things got horribly complicated. I had to cross the river via the “Carcel bridge” I found that and crossed over, then I was to take a left and proceed along the Paseo de la Inmaculada. No such road was marked, but my directions did say to keep the river on my left. River? What river? It had long since disappeared behind the houses. I asked the locals and was met with the universal shrug of the shoulders; this was probably because I was so far away from the hotel, they weren’t actually local to the building. I eventually arrived at a very busy road and decided to keep going north-west (thanks H&C for the compass). Then as I was just about to cross the road, a car tooted and there was my lovely taxi-man, a grin on his face; so in I got and he drove me at least a kilometre to the hotel; he would take no payment. I was at least going in the right direction, but was close to giving up and thinking of retracing my footsteps. Thank you my Guardian Angel x
It certainly wasn’t quite an epiphany, but a realisation of some significance to my aching heart. Again today I walked alone, neither passing or being passed by other pilgrims. I think as I walk and I feel as close to being happy as I have since a Bernard died. I purposely imagine him either by my side or just up the road ahead of me. He’s always wearing the same clothes, his blue outer waterproof jacket, brown linen-looking trousers that went to the charity shop years ago, and his heavy walking shoes, no longer with a piece of the heel missing courtesy of a much loved but long gone Labrador. He has his hands in his pockets and he smiles at me. It is the smile he had before Parkinson’s robbed him of it and of his clarity of voice. He doesn’t walk, he just stands and smiles. And that’s it. Everything is transient, the difficulty is accepting that fact. Bernard is no longer bound, no longer held back in a wheelchair, he’s free, the body that betrayed him and held him down, has gone. The torn and wretched packaging that was his mortal body is no longer there, no longer holding him back, no longer hurting him, no longer tying him down, there’s just him, his being, his free spirit, and he is still with me, and before he could not have been with me on this walk, his physical constraints would have prevented him from being here…..
okay maybe it was my epiphany…………
Today’s highlights, apart from the above……
The (locked) Church at Villatuerta……
The ruins of the monastery just about half a mile outside Villatuerta…..
The Pilgrims fountain at the entrance to Estella……..
The “so noisy, you can’t hear yourself think” raging river at the entrance to Estella……
The Church (locked) at Estella……….
The ruined monastery in Estella…….
In praise of a daughter-in-law
It’s so easy to forget to say thank you, when you’re heart is heavy with grief, and the future seems totally pointless. I fear that there are times that I may have forgotten to say thank you to my own sweet daughter-in-law, Holly.
She has propped me up, dried my tears, supported me; she has been loving and tender. She has been by my son’s side through his grief, supporting and loving him, understanding him when he has lost his way, and she has made sure that a little grandchild will never forget her GranPa. Through all this it was often hard to remember that she too grieved, that she blinked back her tears so that others might shed their tears…….
If I have forgotten to say thank you, Holly, then I hope you know that my thanks and gratitude were always there, even though words were unspoken……
Thank you x
And last but my no means least, I want, Joy, Lynda, Sue, Bob, Phil, Kathleen and Ray to know that I think of them every single day and that they are never far from my thoughts…….
Love Susan x