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#MyComfyCamino realities..

I'll bet you $'s to €'s that you've never read such a post as this!

Older men issues on the Camino….

It looks like #MyComfyCamino blog post earlier this month struck a nerve in a mostly positive way.

But, I left out a few important and practical matters about why I choose to find my best "uno habaticion privada" options on My Camino. It's for me AND for my nightly group of fellow pilgrims, for what are just a few more Euros going to good people anyway.

My Comfy Camino issue #1:

I wake up too early. 3am last night. Almost 4am this morning. Toss and turning. Deep breathing. No more sleep for now. Tossing makes noise. Getting up makes noise. Connecting with home and reading on my phone creates a light. If one is self-aware at all, who wants to be that guy who invites all around him to his wake up party?

My Comfy Camino issue #2:

Older men usually have to pee in the wee-wee hours of the morning. On road trips, My Love and our girls would joke about "dad's bladder of a yak" when stopping more frequently for them to make water. (Granted, this was before google and our Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. "Y" was back at the house. If we insulted any yaks along our way, sincerest apologies to any offended yaks.)

Back to the here and now. Getting up to relieve oneself is annoying enough to the one you sleep with at home. I can't imagine the level of irritation from any light sleepers when one or more of us pilgrims/strangers get up at random times, maybe shake the bunk a little, maybe creak a bit with the floor, squeak a door or two, then FLUSH!!!!, and creak and squeak all over again upon return.

You feeling the love for older men yet?

My Comfy Camino issue #3:

Older men make noises. Snoring is one of the top pilgrim complaints. Ear plugs can help, but what if there's a chorus of men AND women heavy breathing to sawing very tough logs with their symphony of esophageal instruments? No one sleeps well, especially the ones suffering from sleep apnea, which is fairly common with larger people. I had it years ago when I weighed over 300 pounds. Not pretty for all involved. And, we older men make other noises just breathing, clearing the throat, sniffing, snorting, and blowing our nose too. We just do and everyone we love, who's travelled with us, knows this so well.

I understand that the pilgrim experience is different for everyone. My Comfy Camino may not be the cheapest budget, but I appreciate the Comfy options for me and, indirectly, for my fellow pilgrims. And I'm sure that our various hosts here in Spain appreciate the extra Euros. It is, along with communal meals, how they pay their bills. Gracias.

On that note of thanks, I must take my leave and do what older men do, just across the hall. This former yak must empty again.

BTW, this is one pilgrim who refuses to poop on the Camino. I would give you my older man secrets there, but I've shared enough already. 😉

Buen Camino. 🌅

Ultreia!🇪🇸

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Great exhausting, peaceful, and a restful day!

Quite the 46,000+ steps over 32km today, my first day back walking, according to my wrist gadget. The first 21km felt like nothing big. Minor twinges in knees and hip. No big deal.

But. I had really fueled up…here…

Quite the delicious starter at the AC Burgos…had my fill…right before a band of American senior citizens had their way with the buffet. It was overwhelming. It was cruel. It was Shock-and-Awe…and that was just the hotel staff. I expected it, once I saw and heard the first of them loudly complain about something I've already forgotten . I just sat back and pretended to be the 6'3" , 265lb wall flower that I am….until….Friar Tuck, younger and with his full head of hair, wished me "Buen Camino" and then he had to explain that to the group. That was my cue to leave.

The sun was rising and I found myself at this place of The Way movie…

Lots of flats to come. The Meseta.

Some call boring. Some avoid.

I call it a breadbasket. I would not avoid its beauty and purpose. Sunflowers and hay feed us one way or another.

Breezed into Hornillas so easily.

Too, too easily.

Grabbed Jamon, chorizo, sin pan, grande cervesa, agua, and switched out for fresh socks/Keens and I want to go past Hornillas (pardon, spelling from memory).

10km to Hontanas should be fine.

It was as long a 10k as I remember from my last Camino. Feet were fine until the last 2km. Same for my attitude.

FYI. Cursing, even to oneself, is probably some kinda sin. Granted, I do tend to sin a bit.

All was fine until those last 2km that I could have saved if I wasn't a brief idiot. I believed my guidebook over the arrows. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

It was as long a last few kilometers and then, after this pilgrim's walk there she was. Very welcomed, indeed.

Agua was my highest priority. My fount of hydration was right there next to Mother Mary. Perfecto.

Descending into town, I stopped, looked it over, and quickly booked my habiticion privada at Juan de Vepes. She sits at the highest point in town, with a nice green space, and views of their sweet church and surrounding countryside.

(photo above taken right before bedtime)

As I type, the Mass bells ring sending the birds of its belfry flying. Now. They fly back. It's a bird version of happy hour on that bell tower.

My room is perfecto, if my needed hot shower and two hour nap were any indication. I feel like a new man.

Woke up refreshed. Dressed for dinner here at Juan's and went for,
of all things, a walk around town.

From my Albergue to the municipal pool at the west end, more interesting characters. Very few gringos and I do love it.

Walked back and I'm settled here for the night. Pilgrim dinner at 7, of course. Limited to 12, and I will be delighted to join the communal dinner. Paella is on the menu. Just for 12, it should be perfecto. We shall see.

My love wants to chat now via FaceTime on her lunch hour. Ciao for now.

Great chat over some time. All is good back home.

Peregrino dinner at 7 sharp.

Perfecto.


Chunks of pollo love sprang from this deliciousness.

Beautiful perigrino dinner sprang from my fellow solo, albeit French, dinner companion and three pairs of Germans, Italians, and Russians, respectively from front to left around. Teenage Russian boy served his mom with gusto. Loved that. Italian ladies kept to themselves. But I gave them the handshake of love and let them go to safer feelings. The German gals (pictured above) could understand some English as a team effort. It was a sweet effort. They were cool. Even sharing my brilliant, youngest daughter story. Danke, new German friends. If not for them, it was just me and Frenchy chatting between helpings of a huge insalata and wonderful paella.

More to come here. Time to go and wifi here is blaaaaahhhhh.

Ciao for now!

Buen Camino! We made it!

  
We started early today for us. 6:30 was so early that our pension’s kitchen wasn’t quite ready to serve.  That was fine.  A great nights sleep was all we needed, after hot showers and delicious dinners, of course. 

Our intent was to split yesterday and today into nice 25k days. Geography had another idea. 24k yesterday and closer to 28k today. And it felt like it. 

But, we rolled into the cathedral squares right around noonish and here’s a sample of the welcoming structures…

   
    
   
…massive & beautiful , even under renovation. 

The pedestrian-only areas go on and on out from the plazas. We window shopped and scouted out cafe’s and park areas before our respective ciesta s. Our boutique pension is just down the hill from the cathedral, the quiet side of the old city.  It’s managed by a husband & wife with two little ones running around or needing care too. The may live in the apartment behind the hotel. Another chic, yet affordable place to rest, get clean, and adventure out of for a couple days of recovery & exploration. We even have air-conditioning. Bonus. For my improving health, I sourced our supply of mineral water, bag full of huge oranges, and a couple more 1.55€ liters of local vino tinto for nightcaps on the patio.  

Obviously, post-ciesta now, I continue to yawn like never napped. My body is telling me that 13 days straight crossing northern Spain might just be my limit. That’s my understanding of certain aches and weird pains in weird places. 

However, it’s been remarkable from concept to making it happen. All thanks to a remarkable daughter…

  
…and my unbelievable partner at home who encouraged this journey and stayed home to care for all solo. 

  
Thank you, My Love. I miss you, our boys, and Lilly terribly , but this time with our oldest girl & a huge cast of characters has been fun, enriching, exhausting, and culturally educational. 

Our huge world just got a little smaller thanks to My Love above and to that little girl of ours who’s all grown…but wonderfully not quite grown-up. 

Love to you all back at home in the U.S., in Munich, and right here in Santiago, Spain. 

And, all the best the world can offer you & yours who are reading, sharing, and encouraging our journey. 

I’ll be offering reflections about this challenging “spiritual” journey next time. For now, here are the last images we took on the Camino….

    
 
   
 
  
For the last time, unless My Love wants to bring me back, Buen Camino!

Cheers. 

What America do you want to take back?

http://wp.me/p2kJMT-2b

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