The Way, Day 9


[El Hombre]

Route: Puente La Reina to Estella

At our second stop of the day, E and I discussed potential chapter titles for my future book about our experience on the Camino.  Days 2 and 3 were easy:  “Trail of Tears” and “Bataan Death March,” respectively.  Day 4 might have been “The Pit of Despair” and yesterday could be called “Quit While You’re Ahead.”  We struggled to title the first day, and finally I said I felt that the bit in the postal workers’ motto about “In Rain or Snow or Sleet or Hail,” (or whatever) felt apropos.  E smirked and said that he didn’t think his postal worker would have made it.  We both had a good laugh when we realized I knew his postal worker.  As we were sipping our second coffees of the day after realizing that we felt much less grumpy after our first, we decided that today’s title would be “The Judicious Use of Coffee,” perhaps with the subtitle “Or, Why Doesn’t E Let Me Use Coke?”

The rest of our day passed pleasantly enough.  My feet aren’t hurting as bad thanks to the gel pads and this stuff called “Compeed.”  Additionally, I discovered that the grinding sensation in my hip is much alleviated when I wear my pack properly (shock).  Fully caffeinated, we chatted about nothing in particular – our annoying dorm mates from the day before, whether or not we were getting sunburned, the importance of obtaining a lawyer before talking to the police.  We also discussed some new Camino tricks we’d learned about – we saw one family with a donkey to carry their stuff, in the bathroom I overheard someone talking about sending their bag ahead so that they could walk with less weight.  We marveled at these solutions and also how the Camino has an uncanny way of manifesting exactly what we were just talking about (yesterday, on our way down a particularly rocky hill, I said that I couldn’t imagine doing that hill on a bicycle.  Within seconds, a cyclist dinged their bell behind us.  Today, I asked E if anyone ran the Camino.  Moments later we were passed by a jogger). 

We stopped today in Estella with a little more energy and pep than yesterday (thanks caffeine?).  We performed our usual post-arrival routines and E is once again preparing us a feast.

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