Well, here I sit in my cold garret at the top of this quite ordinary house, with lovely old man running it with, I think, either his daughter or a very young wife (who am I to say?).
Being right under the roof makes for a slanting ceiling and a load of wooden beams, as I enter the shower room, I bump my head on a beam; as I exit the shower room I trip up the low step and hit my head on the same beam. I shall learn… well, maybe…..
I am wearing two pairs of socks, my PJ’s and my fleece, once my thick jacket is dry I may add that to the equation. There is no bar and no shops in this little village, but I do have use of a little kitchen. I have just lunched on squashed Baby Bels, biscuits, walnuts, and the rest of the wine that I cleverly poured into an empty water bottle last night. At 1.50€ a litre one can’t afford just to tip it down the drain! I’ve been carrying the nuts, baby bels and biscuits around for days and they have finally come into their own.
I left Najera at about 8:30 this morning, it was very cold and, being a town on the river, an uphill climb on a tummy full of bread and jam. Today I realised that cafe con leche is actually leche con cafe, ie hot milk with a bit of coffee thrown in, a real nursery drink, B would have loved it, he was heavily into milk in any shape or form……
As I left the town I spotted a Stork busily building a nest near the church tower, but she was too far off to take a photograph……
And just in case you are not “all churched out” here’s the church/monastery at the edge of Najera……
So it was all uphill, and I was one of several Pilgrims out in force today, the path wound through deserted vineyards and the markings of “The Way” were clear to follow, including this one, 581 km to go then….
The vineyards soon gave way to fields of wheat …….
Then down came the rain, believe me, a woolly hat, and one’s hood acting like a collection bowl is not to be recommended.
The first and only village I came to was Azofra, it did have a church, but I decided not to check if it was open for business or not. Rain does that to me. The village also had a bar, coffee sounded, and smelled, good, but once again, I was so wet that I decided that I shouldn’t linger as I knew I’d get really cold in my wet clothes…..
It was a nice village with lots of Ivy used for hedges and climbing up walls…..
The little shrine in the centre of the village also used Ivy in a very creative way…….
and the rain kept falling, and falling…..I left B’s poem at the foot of the cross outside Azofra…..Once out of the village the track runs parallel to N-120 for a while then veers off to the left between acres and acres of wheat. The track is wide and well trodden and, well, forgive me for saying this, was extremely, well, boring. Nothing but the track in front…….And the track in front……And if one wanted a different view, there was the track behind……Or I may have got these photographs the wrong way round…..Irrelevant….. it was just one long, up-hill slog….. please don’t think that I am complaining, I chose to do this, no one made me. But the long walk through much of the same countryside left me nothing but my thoughts, and sometimes I so want to escape my thoughts. I’m walking The Way, on my own , my thoughts are what I’m trying to deal with, and today, wet and cold, I failed, I could not imagine Bernard waiting around the corner for me, a smile of welcome on his face. I was thinking today that everyone expects the first year to be hard, the first birthdays the first anniversaries without one’s love. I now have just begun my second year, first of all that seems impossible, I I can still feel the weight if his head as he lay against my breast and breathed his last, how can it have been a year ago? I now call this second year, the lost year, all that was, is no more, and celebrating an anniversary, a moment, a secret time we once shared, has gone, it’s lost. Today I just felt alone and lonely, wet and cold. But then at the heart of it all I realise that I am no more alone here than I am at home, no more lonely here without him than in our own drawing room….. except I travel with hope…… and that is the point, I travel with hope…..And so I end up in this tiny house which lets only 4 rooms, still cold but now quite content, the wine will warm me! The local weather forecaster tomorrow tells me that there is a 100% chance of snow. If this is accurate then I shall make a snowman……..Love Susan x x x