Existing Member?

My Way To capture every aspect of my journeys along the Caminos de Santiago. From planning to walking to home again, I want to record the feelings, insights, experiences and transformation that occur for me every step of The Way.

Warning: This Post is a Clusterf**k

SPAIN | Saturday, 9 November 2013 | Views [469] | Comments [4]

Hola Todos!

I am finished walking as much of the Camino del Interior as I can...I made it to Briviesca and, tonight, am headed back to Barcelona in order to catch a flight to Mallorca tomorrow morning to start my WWOOFing adventure!

This walk was very special to me in terms of it being extraordinarily quiet and peaceful. Not once did I see another pilgrim in the 10 days I walked. I had every albergue to myself and a lot of time for stillness and contemplation. Not to mention I've been reading actual fiction (not academic articles, not method or theory related books) and gobbling it up like a child does candy! The solitude, though, has had its ups and downs...take for instance:

Zegama

The albergue in Zegama is a public school gym located just on the outskirts of town. It's big, echoey, dirty and cold...and in order to get to the washroom you have to leave the gym, go outside, down a ramp, down a flight of stairs, across a cave-like expanse in the basement, and into the locker rooms. The night I stay there is a big storm. Rain pounds against the windows, it's gloomy and grey, and a steady drip, drip, drip, drops down onto an exercise mat they've put under the leak in order to save the hardwood floors. Yeah, I'm a little spooked and I've got a little heater running at full blast to drown out the sounds of the storm and attempt to stay warm. At 7:30pm it's getting dark and I think to myself...that basement situation is going to be a bit of a psycho-drama for me later, with no flashlight and all...I'm going to use the bathroom now and get my business over and done with. Good idea. I read into the night, not wanting to walk to the local bar in the driving rain, and my eyes start to get heavy around, oh, 11pm or so. Unfortunately, so does my bladder.

Bladder: Ok, Kim...let's do this! I gotta go! Brain: Umm, I think I'll pass. It's going to be spooky down there. You can hold out, right bladder? Bladder: Sure. But know that at 3am I'll be screaming and you'll be in a world of discomfort until you work up the nerve at 6 or 7am to relieve me. Hope you like a night of sleeplessness. Brain: Not cool, bladder. Not cool.

This internal struggle goes on for a few minutes and it's the ONE night I actually regret not packing a flashlight. I've got my trusty lighter though and, finally, my inner Big Girl speaks up. Kim, she says, if it were anyone else you'd play the friggin' hero and accomadate them to the washroom. You're really that afraid of the basement (and imagining the sounds of children's creepy laughter, and wierdos holed up down there to escape the storm, and critters crawling around in the shadows...you get the picture)? Yeah, I think, I kind of am...I'd go in a bucket if I could find one. Well, says Big Girl, it's time to put on your big girl panties and face those fears! Get going, ya big wussy!

So, I grab my lighter and the keys ('cause they keep the bathroom locked), put on my flip flops and head out the door. Tthough I'm under an awning, the wind and damp of the rain sends a chill down my back as I start down the ramp. Then I'm at the top of the stairs and they descend into pitch black. I take a deep breath and start down the stairs, lighter in hand. I feel my way off of the last step and light up with my right hand, balling the left into a fist. I'm ready for any muthaf**ka who wants to mess with me. I walk slowly, trepidatiously, my flip flops echoing in the dark space. My heart is beating a hundred miles an hour and I want to talk myself through it, but even the sound of my voice in this wierd void of place spooks me. I finally get to the door while the lighter is starting to burn my thumb. I fumble with the keys...where's the fuckin' lock?! Key upside down, rightside up, finally in the slot...let me in damnit!!!! I flick on the lights and super bright florescents flicker and pop to life. Bladder: Oh yeah, baby, that's the stuff! Don´t we feel better? Brain: Screw you, bladder.

I leave on the light when I exit and leave the door open a crack, screw the rules. I flick on the lighter again and cover the expanse of the basement in about 6 huge strides, run up the stairs, sprint up the ramp and lock myself back into the, er, sanctuary of the gymnasium. Brain: I'll see you explode before we go back down there again tonight, bladder. I swear it. Bladder: Understood.

Empowerment & Service

Other than Zegama, though, this travelling alone thing, like I said, has its ups. A lot of people, when they see me stride through their pueblo approach me to ask me if I'm a pilgrim and if I'm travelling alone. It's November, after all, and the masses of pilgrims are over. And I'm a woman. When I reply yes on both accounts often I see an eyebrow raise...a look of suprise, a look of respect. I can't help but feel a surge of pride...these people are impressed! Maybe, just maybe, even inspired. Their reactions, in turn, empower me, bolster me...it feels pretty good. I've gone through stages where I actually feel a little selfish taking this time (3 months) for myself and trekking across Spain. When I think about what I'm contributing to the greater good, though, I think this could be considered an act of service in that I'm being a mirror of self care, making time for reflection and a deepened connection with my body, heart, mind and spirit. Many people here in Spain know the value of walking a Camino. For instance, did you know it's actually considering a bonus to have the experience of walking a camino on ones resume or CV? It is. That's so cool to me...that self care and the willingness to undergo challenge is valued beyond the personal. Do we, in North America, percieve it the same way? I'm not convinced that we do...hence my feelings of selfishness every now and then. Perhaps the way we think about 'service' needs to shift?

Anywho, I'm running out of time here at the library with my one hour max and need to finish up.

Know I love you and hope you're well. As usual, please drop me a line whenever you can. I so love the updates!

Hugs,

Kim xo

 

Tags: camion del interior

Comments

1

Have a safe flight to Barcelona and I know you are going to learn so much on your WWOOFing adventure! Oneness is an awesome experience, you learn so much about yourself and it sure sounds like you did.
Keep Smiling and Singing, Love You to the Moon and Back!!! Mum
P.S. You never did like basements as a child!!!!

  Mum Nov 10, 2013 1:57 AM

2

You go girl!!!!! :)

Be well... love you!

  Nicole Nov 10, 2013 4:09 AM

3

Facing Fears gives courage to us here in our little worlds of demons. yes there are times I wish I had my flashlight too. but the brain is is wild expanse of dark and damp not unlike the basement metaphor. Light a little candle and make a dash for it. good advice. and sometimes that good stern talking to onesself is needed. hitch up the wagon and yee haaa away we go. made it to the other side. It was all an illusion.. wasn't it? much love to you...

  Janice Nov 12, 2013 2:48 AM

4

My dear Sister,

The bathroom story reminds me of my grandmothers basement, the place I had to go and get the potatoes. Most basement in old farm houses are about 4 feet high, the ground is the earth, and the walls are the original foundation. Its dark, no light, smelly, damp, lots of spider webs, old stairs that are not level and a boogie man that lives behind it.

When asked to go to the basement, I had to muster so much courage, have the inner dialog of how we were going to over come the man behind the stairs and when im kidnapped, how they were going to find me..After being screamed at a few times to get those damp potatoes, I had no choice but go down and even if it met my life. Each step made me more fearful, and my legs would become so week and it seemed forever to the basket. Finally when I reach the basket and filled it up with potatoes, I would run up the stairs, making sure I took big steps just in case something would catch my leg and bang my head on the way up which somehow brought some sense into to me...Now they call that a cold cellar !!! LOLO

I love reading your stories, the details brings me right into your experience and I feel like Im there with you.

One thing is for sure, we are always right were we need to be all at all times.

Loving you
Manon

  Manon Nov 14, 2013 2:01 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.


 

 

Travel Answers about Spain

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.