06.06.2011 - 06.06.2011
Every morning on the Camino I use my phone as an alarm clock. I typically get stuck on the top bunk, which means my phone lies next to me and risks being plummeted to the floor when it rings to wake me up. To remedy this I have been keeping it in my sleeping bag at night, which is amusing because I ultimately lose it and have to find it again at 6 o'clock in the morning while the alarm is going off. As you can imagine this is funny, what with me and the bag and the phone and the noise and the height – it's about as Houdini as I get. But this morning, in this little albergue in Castrojeriz, a cat (unbeknownst to me) has decided to fall asleep on my pillow practically on my face. I didn't even know this albergue had cats. So, at 6 o'clock my alarm rings; I struggle sleepily to find my phone, the cat (who is knocked from the bed) claws on to the mattress, I (in my confusion) try to defend myself by pushing the cat off the mattress, who then tries to hold onto my arm. I still haven't found my phone at this point. Then the cat, (ten points for intelligence), tries to crawl inside my sleeping bag. I wouldn't put this on my list of 'recommended ways to start your day'.
The day gets better. I stop to buy a drink in the first town and have my head bitten off by a woman because I'm “doing the Camino and I don't speak Spanish.” Sorry, I didn't think it was that hard to understand me pointing at the bottle of lemonade I wanted. It's amazing how hard people can make things when they want to be difficult. But then I sit down to drink and somebody teaches me a cool rhyme. You write the letters Q.U.E.S.O. on your fingertips (from your thumb to your little finger on your left hand). Then you hold up fingers to spell out “que es eso, eso es queso!” which means what is it? It is cheese! I find this very amusing and it quickly makes up for the grumpy Spanish woman and her lemonade.
When I stop for the day I decide to practice some Spanish. I learn some useful new phrases from an American lady; “Quanto questa” – how much is it? “Puedo probalo” – can I try it on? “Arriba” – up, “bacco” – down, and “tieneh comas” – do you have beds? I meet Maria, (an amazing Dutch lady who started her Camino more than one month ago in France), who recommends a Swedish film to me; As It Is In Heaven. She asks me, like so many other people have, what I have learnt on the Camino, and I think at the moment I've learnt that I am just happy to be walking everyday. I'm enjoying meeting new people, writing, and having the time to daydream about LIFE, in big block italicised letters. Daydream about it, sure, but not dare to learn anything about it!