I knew the rain was coming. I saw the weather report and heard the rumor from my fellow pilgrims. We had 17 days without rain and I knew that wouldn’t last.
We put on our rain suits and headed out to Carrions de la Condes. The light mist was not a problem and the blue sky broke through occasionally. We had an orange and some pudding and saw this beautiful Mary in a church.
The next segment of the trail was the longest without towns, so once you started you were committed to 17km. It rained a bit, then was nice, then a touch of hail. By the time we hit the old Roman road the wind kicked up. A very stiff 25 mile an hour head wind was unrelenting for the next 15 km. What would have been an easy flat path was a wind tunnel instead. No going back, we trudged on taking frequent breaks. I would focus on a tree, finally make it and than focus on another tree. You couldn’t see the town down in the valley until the last minute.
We got a bed in the first Albergue and just lay there exhausted. After some food,a relative term in this town ,we took naps and I had a shower. It was too cold and rainy to wash clothes so we just will wear the same ones tomorrow.
The army barracks like Albergue with a common bathroom was cold and bleak but I managed to entertain myself with this ancient vending machine. You move the top around, then put in a euro and drop the tin can for a treat, you have the choice of nuts, gummy candy, or olives with anchovies—-humm. Some wine and decent soup with fellow English speakers finished off the day and we crawled into our chilly sleeping bags to tired to care.
As I struggled against the wind today I thought about all the people who crossed the Great Plains of America in covered wagons with relentless wind and snow, no hot showers or bottle of wine at the end of the day. I thought about all the people, now and through out time, forced to leave their homes to walk in terrible conditions often to their death. I can’t imagine their suffering or the minds of the people who would do that to a human.
I walk willingly and accept the task the Camino chooses for me each day. I feel stronger every day and was pleased that I could face the wind and keep walking.