We’re celebrating this week. First, Gabe, our son successfully navigated the Spainish airport and train station in Madrid, enough to get himself on a train and to us in Lugo. We began walking together yesterday.
Second, Jason and I are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary today, enjoying a shorter mileage day, in part because of Jason’s health and part because of Gabe’s blisters. This time, it’s not me slowing the crew down.
After my last post, Jason did fall ill with some kind of virus. We had been walking in extreme heat and humidity and as you know from my previous post, I took a day off. Jason did not. We don’t think the exertion caused Jason to get sick, but it might have affected his immune system. He’s spent 36 hours with fever/chills and aches and some stomach upset. Yesterday he was able to walk despite not feeling 100 percent. The weather was cooler. That helped.
Jason’s sickness also conveniently struck when we were already planning to stay put for an extra 24 hours in Lugo as we waited for Gabe. That meant I was able to enjoy a lot of sightseeing while Jason slept. So, this is day 4 of Jason feeling not himself and he just told me, “I think the sickness has passed.”
We’re staying in an albergue with about 16 others, so less romantic than some anniversaries, except that this experience has brought us closer together. In fact, we’ve walked at least one day for every year of marriage this summer and most of those hours have been spent together, in conversation, in prayer or in quiet together. We also have loved interacting with the various pilgrims along the way as a couple.
Our walking stages will probably come with a bit more ease in the next section as we near Santiago. We won’t climb any extreme hills and the weather report indicates more cooling. Two nights ago in our very hot pension room in Lugo, I was sleeping with a wet cloth across my face to endure the heat. Tonight, it’s supposed to get down into the 50s.
It has been wonderful to walk with our son. Gabe is a great athlete and an able Spanish speaker. He has terrible blisters behind his heels. This is a long story, but he needed to buy hiking boots right before this trip. This is a worst case scenario for walking the Camino, as you might imagine. We’re nursing his feet and many older Camino walkers are sharing wisdom about how to treat blisters for the longer road ahead (which actually isn’t that long anymore).
Today, Gabe hiked the 15 km in Jason’s flip flops. Not ideal! In the next big town, we might purchase a pair of running shoes for him.
We’re all in good spirits and enjoying the luxury of so much time hanging out and in a culture we love. A cow who loves pilgrims for example, makes us happy along the way. Every other corner we round on the Camino surprises us. Simple pleasures fill up the moments, time expands for quiet or conversation and that has brought us a great deal of joy. In a way, our celebration has been as continuous as the journey.