Walking for Water with Camino Jim- Day 22. On to Tio Pepe


Day 22. On to Tio Pepe

I began walking today at 9:30, later than most days. It may have had something to do with the temperature in my room. I kept the air on the “snow” setting all night and woke up at 2:00 am to get a blanket … perfect. From my hotel I need to make my way to the cathedral where I will find the Camino. When in doubt as to where the Camino is just look for the largest church and I can guarantee that the Camino will pass by it.

The first digital temperature sign I see says that it is 27C which is 84F and it’s going to get warmer. It is what it is. I really don’t have an issue with walking in the heat, it’s trying to sleep in it that’s difficult. The walk out of the city is pretty much like walking out of any of the larger cities, lots of turns, lots of traffic and a constant search for signs telling you where the Camino is. Scallop shells yes but mostly yellow arrows painted on curbs, the back of signs, walls and anything else the volunteers can get a brush on. You would be surprised at how often and how easy it is to lose focus and find yourself standing still looking in every direction trying to find a sign which will not only tell you which way to go but more importantly confirm that you have not missed a turn. It’s a bit depressing to know that whatever distance you started out needing to complete the stage you are on just got longer because you have to backtrack.
I was in early last night enjoying the chill of my room, watching YouTube videos of old comedy routines. The alternative is to watch a card reader speak to people who call in about what lies ahead in their lives. There are actually three different channels which offer this right now. They keep flashing the number to call and there does not appear to be a shortage of people who need help on what their futures are.
I’m packed and out the door. I walk about four miles when I here someone call out to me. It’s Candy and Don along with one of the young guys from a week ago. They are moving quickly but obviously they also got a late start. They catch up and we walk together for a short distance. We are staying in the same hostel tonight … Tio Pepe where Lilo once nursed my leg issue with the help of a sports cream and a bag of ice which she wrapped around my leg and kept changing for hours. I know it was the difference in getting through the next long 17 plus mile day. I decide to stop at the next location to stock up on the Spanish version of a sports drink. I’ll probably see them for dinner. Candy did tell me that their delay in leaving Leon this morning was connected to them being out until 2:30 am. That’s what happens with the young guys … glad I was not with them for dinner but even if I had I know I would have called it a night long before they did. It’s hard enough to walk 13 miles in 90 plus heat with the sun beating down on you, so adding a hangover is just not anything I want a part of.
The walk was as I had anticipated, hot, boring and without many places of interest or where you could replenish your water. In the end I made very good time. I just put my head down and go at my pace and well, it’s working. I did stop at the last possible Farmacia to buy what I hope is my last tube of what I call the Advil cream. I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I also bought 600 milligram Ibuprofen pills at the Farmacia, 40 pills, total cost less than $5.00.
I’m currently doing something I never do … here or at home, trying to take a nap. I got here early and there is nothing in village of Maserife so I’m going to give it a try. Okay this can only happen to me. I get a ground floor level room and my room is directly next to the gathering location. The patio just outside my window also has a pinball machine which is in constant use by both locals and pilgrims. Nap attempt cancelled. All part of the journey.
Okay so the nap idea is dead, I will head back to the bar-reception desk and watch either the bicycle racing or the soccer game … one of the two will be on. I decide to take a walk around the neighborhood which should be the last thing I want to do. One loop and ten minutes later I’m back at Tio Pepe’s watching Barcelona play Madrid with two of the older locals. The two locals have two things in common. The first is that they appear to be wearing the same sweater. That’s right, I said sweater and yes it’s still above 80 degrees. The second is they drink coffee, one little espresso after another. Two things are really quite noticeable about the game. Nobody sits down while chanting for the entire game and when a player falls down or is tripped they act like they have sustained a life threatening injury which of course brings out the rescue squad with a bottle of water and soon thereafter the player who acted as if seriously injured continues to play. The chanting continues regardless. If any of these players ever attempted to play our brand of football they would not get past one play… not one.
It’s now 7:00 and I’m going to dinner with Candy and Don. We can catch up tomorrow … on my way to Astorga a long walk of about 18 miles.
Good night, Buen Camino.
Miles today: 12.8
Miles to date: 285.3
Steps today: 33,051
Steps to date: 794,876
Total Flights: 629
Total donations to date: $34,500.40