Pamplona – Puente la Reina
I am proud of myself to have not let the thought of home consume me yet. I am surprised at how good I really am on my own. Missing home comes and I let it go quickly. I know I can’t let any thought linger too long, since being here is why I am here.
How quickly each day fades into the past. I can barely remember where I was the day before. It’s no wonder since I am only in one place long enough to learn how to pronounce the village name: Puente la Reina, Zubiri, Roncesvalles…
Walking does not seem to be getting any easier. Each morning I am reminded of the relentless throbbing in my feet. I sleep with an eye mask since most nights it is still light when I go to bed and ironically dark when I wake. It’s a good morning if I happened to sleep the night through with out losing an ear plug; the most precious item in my pack. I sometimes forget why my feet feel stiff, like wooden boards that have not been moved in years. For a moment I am back home in my comfy king sized bed. I anticipate seeing my loved ones. Suddenly the memory of where I am, how much I walked the day before and how much I still have to walk surfaces.
Today’s walk is through endless open fields of swaying grass. I never know what the walk will be like. A mountain pass lined with giant sized windmills is ahead in the distance. I’m amazed at how much you can accomplish in 1 day. The pass that once seemed so far away, soon behind me within a couple of hours.
A routine is absolutely necessary in this type of experience. It’s the force that keeps a man going. He shovels pile after pile of coal, tired and dirty, into a fire that can fuel a locomotive. Without it, there is no train.
I talk to my dad for the first time on the phone today. I have been updating my loved ones every day. Most days I am up in the morning and get done walking 15+ miles to find America is still sleeping. I patiently wait each day for signs of life to share my stories and send my love. I am missing home more than ever today.
There is more time than I know what to do with. I often get done walking by 1pm, on a good day, and have the rest of the afternoon for myself. Nothing to do but shower, hand wash my clothes and dinner for one. I haven’t talked to many people today and have not really found anyone I really connect with. Before I left my friend wrote me letters for in case I needed a laugh, wanted to quit or if I missed home. I miss home today and especially my boyfriend. I think about opening a letter, but decide to save it for a day when I really need it.
Reflection, meditation, people watching and exploring the village and cathedral occupies the remainder of my day before I am too exhausted to take another step.