09.06.2011 - 09.06.2011
Finally, my friends, it has happened. I am lost. I have taken completely the wrong route, lost the Camino Frances and ended up in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. After lunch I was supposed to have a short 5km afternoon walk to Bercianos del Real Camino – a nice donativo albergue with a communal meal, but I accidentally took an old Roman route from Calzada del Coto and got lost! I was walking along in the heat getting so frustrated thinking “there is no fucking way this is 5km!” And it wasn't. (And, if you know me, you know I never swear, so I was really, really frustrated.) My feet are so sore and I've walked so far, and now I'm in the wrong town on the wrong route. Still, I must be meant to be here, or something. My map (fat lot of good it did me) didn't show this alternate Roman route at all – so I had no idea that I even needed to look out for it. What's worse is that in Calzada del Coto an old man on a bicycle rode up to me and led me to the start of this path!!! He actually guided me away from the Camino Frances, spoke a bunch of Spanish to me, and pointed me this way! I stupidly followed his advice, what an insane day! I feel like I've been shaken around and turned upside down. When I finally get to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (a name I will never forget) I am really cross and grumpy. A German couple I have walked with a few times call out to me; “wow! Welcome miss Australia! You are late!” Thanks I think. Helpful. “The albergue is full!” They add happily. Great. I put my bag down and talk to them for a bit, explain that I got lost and ask them if they meant to take this alternate route. “Yes” they respond “of course we meant to come this way! We know how to read a map!” Arghhh. I'm so annoyed. I walk around the little town and find another private albergue with beautifully comfortable bed and a beautifully soft pillow that I scream into. Then I have the best hot shower I've had in two weeks (I sit underneath it for about 20 minutes). OK, now I can smile again, and hopefully my room-mates wont think I'm such a freak.
I head back to albergue number one to cook a meal and talk to the pellegrinos. My German friends greet me and feed me dinner (instantly forgiven). Then they tell me there's an unavoidable stretch of Camino tomorrow morning of 24km without towns, food or water. Arghahahahaygbaahhh. It's a challenge, let's think of it that way. I drink several glasses of wine and start to enjoy myself again. We talk about all the usual Camino things, why we're here, what life questions we're looking to answer. One pellegrino says that the Camino is a lot like drinking wine, you walk and think and walk and think and become more confused but strangely less confused at the same time. Things become clearer as they become less clear when you drink, in vino veritas. I like this. One other fun thing happened today. I turned the map around! (Actually, this is probably why I got lost). Hooray, I'm more than half way to Santiago.