23 apr

Walked from Albergueria to Ourense. No not really, took the bus for the last four kilometres. But then the bus went so fast that I only got out 1 kilometre after the city centre. And I walked down and up and down and up again to reserve my train ticket to Burgos for tomorrow. Which still made 44 kilometres for today.
Walking this morning I made another wrong turn. It suddenly dawned on me that I am sick of walking. Maybe it was the knowledge that I would be a week off after today, but I suddenly realized there is no real point for me walking. Walking to Santiago in the first place is silly enough, but to do it over again is kind of manic. Of course it is good for Julie and Mary to have some quality time together, but I could have been laying on a beach, or finally reading a book without falling asleep after two alinea’s, or do some volunteer work, or something else. But all this walking, walking walking suddenly galled me.
There and then I decided I was going to take a bus for the last 22 kilometres from Xungueira de Ambia to Ourense. It helped that I had just read this morning that this was the worst part of the Via de la Plata. I had walked in and out of Burgos and Leon and knew how boring and infuriating those stretches can be. And there was nothing more to proof for me, I thought.
When I arrived in Xungueria at 12.30 I found out that the only bus to Ourense leaves at 7 in the morning. I just had to walk. To be honest, I felt happy about it. With my low expectations the stretch was not as bad as I thought. But then I reached the industrial area of Ourense, and after that the outskirts of the city and then I saw a bus heading for the centre and jumped in it. Before I was settled I wondered if I would know where to get out. The sight of a train station or the cathedral would have been indicative for me, but I never saw those. When I asked my fellow travellers where the cathedral was, there was suddenly panic in the bus. We had already passed it and at least seven people gave me different advise about what to do now. Well, get out as fast as possible and just walk back. I turned out to be not that far from the centre, and the stretch I walked was far more interesting than the boring high way walk that was my route before.
Part of the reason for my mischavous behaviour must have been the most horrible night on the Camino yet. I was simply freezing last night. The french family who had been so kind to invite me for diner last evening had also been so friendly to hog all the blankets. When I returned to the albergue at 9.30 last night, all the lights were already turned off, everybody was in bed, and I was glad to find the way to mine. But then the sleep was horrible. The other problem was the bed. It was made for midget’s, smaller than 1,90 metres. I couldn’t stretch, I had cramps, I was freezing, I was miserable. This i where al those mischievous thoughts about walking must have come from.
The beginning of the day was lovely though. I was thinking about nineteen years ago, the day Claire was born. The most miraculous day of my life. There were so many sweet thoughts. I was holding up my hand just to prove to myself that it was possible to carry a human being on it. Couldn’t believe it, but I know it happened. Remembered the first steps and a lot of other moments of great gratitude.
And than suddenly something snapped. Ah well, it is good to go to the singing monks of Santa Domingo de Silos. But first I need to call Claire to wish her a happy birthday, and Julie to tell her what a wonderful girl she raised.