Alone Again

Day one of walking is complete. 15 km more or less. I left the albergue yesterday and it felt like it was time. I had felt pretty detached from everything for the day or two before. I had gone out with Mar, the owner, and had fun visiting some favourite places. Irish Dave and the kids came along. I realized that even though I thought I had no expecations before my arrival at the beginning of August, I had wanted to recapture some of the community of last year. There were times when it seemed I was there, but the ease of leaving seemed to indicate otherwise. A wise friend of mine once said to me “The pain is in the expectations, and not in the truth. Most of the pilgrims came with similar issues to resolve, troubled relationships, inner searching, transitions of some sort. They seemed to look to the hospitaleros for guidance but I know from my own travels over the last few years that what is sought can only come from within. 

The camino I am walking is called the Via de la Plata and starts in Seville. I am starting about 300 from Santiago as I only have about three weeks and no desire to put in 30+ km days. It is stinking hot. The path went alongside a lake and my naked body was in the water faster than you can say 36 degrees. I got to the albergue by 1:00 and being the first one in managed to score a double bed. My laundry dried in about 5 minutes. 
I also discovered that even though I thought I was more in tune with myself and being honest about what I wanted, that this still needs some work. I met another pilgrim at the bus station yesterday and after some chit chat, he asked if he could walk with me. Instead of declining, as I really like the solitude of walking on my own, I reverted to being nice at the expense of what I wanted. Sure, no problem. And my camino lessons continue. Instead of convincing myself why my decision makes sense, I need to follow my gut feeling, that first inclination to say no. No. No thanks. No, I like walking on my own. No, I prefer my aloneness right now. No. 

I also discovered that my joy of being in Spain is in large part from this walking. But I can get that anywhere. Next year will be spent exploring walks in BC. The Sunshine Coast Trail. The Juan de Fuca Trail. Day trips. Camping trips on my own. I don’t need to be in Spain to find that joy in the quiet. I have it already. Everywhere.

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7 Responses to Alone Again

  1. Lynda says:

    😘. Wise words and great insights !

  2. John MacLean says:

    Donna, I hope you have a great walk this year! Always enjoy your posts! You must be getting close to Puebla de Sanabria shortly I expect. I was just looking over my plan from 2015 and noticed these notes I picked up from somewhere. Here they are for what they are worth:
    A Gudina – Oscars is one of those places with a 10 euro menu del dia, filled to the rafters with workers. Workers and pilgrims seem to have the same dietary needs — big filling meals, home cooked always better. That’s this place.
    Campobecerros – If you’re staying at the Casa Núňez in Campobecerros, the communal evening meal is a must: no choice, you just eat what’s put in front of you, which everybody else, including the owners, is eating as well – when I was there it was a delicious caldo gallego and then a thick beef stew with chick peas, potatoes and more cabbage.
    Xunqueira de Ambia -Bocateria Beje, a small place on the side of the road, you will pass it on the way into town from the albergue (which is very nice). Another place owned and operated by two women (who used to be textile workers, lost their jobs, had to find a way to make a living, they are great at what they do and care very much about it). Meals available any time they are open, always good home cooked food. I was told by my French companions the last time I was there that they had a couple of very nice wines, but I am not much of a wine snob, so all I can tell you is that the wine was very good.
    My experience is similar to yours. The camino experience seems to be less intense with each successive camino but there are still some great moments! ¡Buen Camino!

  3. Scot Laughlin says:

    “The pain is in the expectations, and not in the truth”…that’s often been my experience as well.

    I love getting to share little bites of your trip this year…camino pinche’s (?)

  4. Suzy Dennis says:

    The ability to read the needs of others is a gift, but the compulsion to fill their needs beyond your own boundaries, definitely not healthy. I know you’ll beat this one – love you!!!

  5. Joyce says:

    For such a short word, ‘no’ can be so difficult. I find that sometimes if I put limits on what I will do is helpful and can meet the needs of both individuals. If you had said I will accompany you for 15 minutes or the next 2 miles….. then I am going to ask you to walk on ahead and leave me to sit alone and journal….skinny dip in the lake…..sit and just breathe the air and clear my head…….no excuses needed. Telling someone ahead of time sets the limits of what you will and will not do.

  6. Emily says:

    Those last 3 sentences…. ❤

  7. Kate, of Donna and Scot and Kate says:

    Finally the time to check your blog, because I miss you so much. I agree with the sentiments above, but it’s hard to convince myself that saying No is the right thing to do…so I understand the difficulty

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