Walking for Water with Camino Jim- Day 6. Flies and the new Ann


Day 6. Flies and the new Ann

Today was physically not difficult. I say that and catch myself for believing that and setting myself up for a real disappointment. There were a few hills but nothing like the first five days. It was hot and the trail was often dusty and there were flies … lots of flies. I nearly beat myself to death with the hat my grandson’s gave me for my birthday trying to swat them off of my head. They were relentless.
The temperature cooled a bit to the mid-eighties but given the lack of shade it was still hot. There were three things that were meaningful from today’s Camino. Two I will share with you and one I will share only with Robin. Actually I have already shared that one other Camino takeaway with Robin.
I believe that there are going to be somethings which will never change from one Camino to the next. You may stay at the same place, you can’t change how difficult any part of any day is or is not. You cannot change the weather but you may experience the same conditions on occasion. I did not believe that you could experience meeting a person who was exactly like someone else you met on another Camino but today I proved that to be wrong.
If you read my first Camino blog or read the book you may recall that I liked to give people names other than their own. I didn’t always do that but on occasion I did for my own entertainment. Remember Bono? He was the guy from Mesopotamia who stalked the young girls in our little walking group … Emma and Emily. I gave him that name because he always had his sunglasses on regardless of the time of day, inside or out. I picked up on the fact that he was hiding behind those glasses and he knew I had him figured out. It took only a few short days to drive him out. I did not think I would ever meet anyone like him again on the Camino and so far that’s correct and I doubt I will see the likes of him again on this Camino.
That brings me to another memorable person from my first Camino … Irish Ann. I gave her that name because she was from Ireland but I don’t remember her real name. I gave her the name because the first three letters of ANNoying are ANN.  ANN made every effort to drag me into a political debate which I was not going to allow. That was not what I was on the Camino for and actually any such political discussion ran counter to why I was on the Camino. ANN would just not stop until I finally told her that she was annoying and that regardless of her efforts I would not get dragged into a political conversation only she wanted to have. I never thought I would meet her or anyone like her again on this Camino but I was wrong … say hello to ANNoying Ann the new version.
I walked into Los Arcos around 2:30. As I said it was a good day, I know where my accommodation is because I have stayed there before and it’s five minutes from the Central Plaza where the Camino dumps everyone. I am covered in dust and I have sweat through everything I’m wearing. I order a small beer. A reasonable reward for the day’s effort. I am drinking the beer and Majorie and Gary ( from Connecticut ) stop by and sit for a few minutes. Their accommodation is almost three miles further away in an isolated area so we will meet for dinner at some other date. We are on the same schedule. Marjorie is a bit disappointed because the church of St. Mary is not open. That’s unfortunate because this little church is often referred to as the most beautiful church on the Camino. With it’s simple wooden door it’s easy to just walk right past it … it is beautiful. I have sent photos which don’t do it justice but it’s the best I can do.
So how does ANNoying ANN fit in here? Well soon after Marjorie and Gary leave four people occupy the table next to me. Three women and one guy. They are all dressed well … that means they are wearing clean clothes and they don’t look like me … dusty, dirty and looking haggard. One of the three women turns to me and asks if I’m on the Camino? Well given the fact that I look the way I do and sitting next to me is an equally dusty backpack and a pair of walking sticks I would say that’s a good guess. So I answer “yes”. Next question from the short haired women wearing the Hollywood sunglasses is … oh your an American, wear are you from? The question actually violates itself because she has already answered that question but okay I think I know what she means which is where in America do you live? My answer is “California “. ANN says that she and I have one thing in common and that is that we both live in States which got the election right. Say Hello to Irish ANN. My response is pretty quick and too the point. “You are correct that I am on the Camino and yes I do live in California but you are wrong in thinking that you can bait me into a discussion about politics here in Los Arcos. That is not why I’m here and I won’t be dragged into any debate regardless of weather or not we see things in the same way or differently.” Here’s what made my day … she did not have a response when I stood up put on my backpack, grabbed my poles and said to her, “Welcome  to the Camino.” and I just walked away. How do they find me?
The third Camino event of the day will have to wait until my next post. It’s late and I need to get some sleep. I’ll just say that it’s about Carlos who is walking 700 miles from Santiago to Barcelona.
Steps today 34,841
Miles today 12.5
Total steps to date 225,026
Good night, Buen Camino.