Last night, I had a trio of Camino Angels (three Spanish men named Esazio, Antonio and Santiago) who tended to my gigantic blister on the bottom of my foot. The foot pain, a little local wine, and a lovely Sype session sent me off to bed without blogging a word.
Back in Logroño a few nights ago, Heidi and I got locked out of the albergue. We had taken our Italian friend out for tapas and wine and missed the curfew by one minute. Luckily, we ran into two pilgrims who took us in and let us sleep on the floor of their hotel. This whole experience reminded me of something that might have happened when we were in college. I actually slept well on that floor. Grateful that I didn´t have to sleep outside in the park. Once again, we rely on the kindness of strangers and for all to be provided.
The way to Najera was another long stage: 29 km. Heidi and I walked most of the day together. I felt that old feeling of impatience trying to work on me. Patience isn´t one of my virtues. But, I keep getting presented with opportunities to culivate it. This day was one of those opportunities. It was really great when I slowed down enough to match Heidi´s pace. I enjoyed the walk very much until I got the dreaded blister. This blister is so nasty, other pilgrims were taking fotos of it. I felt all their love as they all offered me sympathy. It was really touching how we´ve all grown to care about each other. After the blister surgery, we shared bottles of wine and our stories. People are keen to know why we are on the Camino. When I tell them my reasons, sometimes they cry, but always they are happy to know that I have been given hope.
When I awoke this morning, I wasn´t sure if I would be able to walk. My foot was throbbing. I hadn´t slept very well. Heidi´s ankle was still tender. We considered taking the day off and resting. But, then we starting talking about all the friends we´ve made and how we´d really like to stay with them. So, we gathered up our stuff and rolled out of the albergue and hour later than everyone else. Once we started walking, we felt pretty good. The pain just wasn´t as bad as we thought it was going to be. This stage was through the beautiful vineyards of Rioja. As we walked, we really took in the beauty of the place. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude -- something I haven´t been conscious of feeling for awhile. It was such a great feeling I started to shout all the things I am greatful for. The Camino, Heidi and our relationship, healing blisters, an orange that a fruit vendor gave me, love, the future, hope.