Thursday, 12 February 2009

That first night.

The meal that night was much better than I had expected. Salad followed by trout and flan. I still could not believe how little all this was. I sat opposite a youngish man. We were at a table that was designated as a table for those on their own. I asked him if today had been his first days walking. He told me that it was his last. He had started in Santiago. He wanted to walk home as he had walked to Santiago last year. I kept quite about my experiences of the day. I was in the company of serious pilgrims. And so to bed. I lay in bed for sometime thinking about what I had taken on. Now the idea of doing 550 miles really came home to me. I must be crazy. I thought about my reasons for being there in the first place. I was here because I could not be at home! I began to feel a little home sick. And I feel asleep. What a lovely dream. Oh! the noise, the lights, the morning. Hardly light and they are on the move. The pilgrims are dressing and leaving. It is about 6:30am. I am up with not very good grace. Down to breakfast which is in the next village. I make myself understood even though I have little Spanish. It is another beautiful days walk. I am struck by memorials by the wayside to pilgrims who have died. As the day goes on I feel more and more for them. The pack is getting heavy now. I must find a way to get it lighter. I had noticed a shelf in the undercroft at Roncesvalles that had all manner of stuff on it. I now understood why. Left behind by pilgrims who had too much stuff. What a picture and lesson of life. In the west we have too much stuff. It bogs us down and stops us doing what we are made to do.Be in the presence of God. Larrasona came into view. The Alberque is in the town hall with an extension across the road. It had a portacabin for the facilities as well as a largish group of loud American students. The noise was a jar after the quite hours walking. But they are young and having a good time. I wonder if they will be so noisy tomorrow morning, early, when it is time to set off. We shall see.Their noise was welcome after all. The day had not been that difficult to walk, but on my own, without distraction my mind had picked away at the gbp. Over and over it had gone. I want to get home to fix it. Prayers of desperation. And some self pity. Why was I here what was I supposed to learn in this situation. I have no idea.

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