So far Ponté de Lima is my favorite city. There are a few people in the albergue that we met in the albergue last night. The woman from Holland is very nice and we run into her a lot. There are two men from New Zealand who are really cool as well. One of them passed out while riding his bike on the Camino, woke up in an ambulance, recovered for 10 days in a hospital, and is now walking to Santiago. That is dedication. We climbed a huge mountain today but were rewarded with a downhill trip to the albergue. Paul shipped 2 kilos of his stuff home this morning, so his load was lighter today. I had washed my clothes at the albergue in Ponté de Lima and hung them to dry, but it rained overnight and my clothes were all wet. I hope they dry tonight. Tomorrow we are crossing into Tuí. I am excited for this. There is nothing really going on in this city, but we may go to the bar for dinner. Tuí should be much more exciting, plus it is in Spain! I felt homesick last night and we still have a ways to go, but I am very happy to be on this journey and will be proud to reach Santiago. The knee brace I got yesterday morning has helped so much. This is the best I’ve felt after a day of walking yet. 11 miles today. Paul’s ankle is hurting very bad, I hope the ankle brace helps him.
Reflecting on José and Christina again, I imagine they don’t fight. If Paul were dying, would I bother to point out every time he did something that annoyed me, or did something in a way I didn’t like? No. I’d like to remember this and live this way. Unless truly offended, why bother to make a bad situation by criticizing. I am wishing now that I could send a note to my family and let them know how the trip is going. There were two cows in the road today (I was hoping I would see that) and when we stopped to eat we encountered other pilgrims and two cats that caught mice for a treat of their own. It rained for about an hour this morning, which made the rain gear useful. I am getting better at peeing on the side of the trail. Paul and I have broken some bathroom/ modesty boundaries (mostly me). Last night, while feeling homesick, I wanted Paul near me for comfort. Then I had a strange feeling that Paul and I are strangers. We are married, that is ridiculous, but I can’t shake this feeling. Do we really know each other? Am I fully myself with him? This is a weird feeling, but an interesting one, like I am looking forward to getting to know each other. That is a journey itself. Bom Camino!
Day 5 again, just had a great dinner at the one place in town. We went with Holland (I can’t pronounce her name), we met two American pilgrims there, the New Zealand guys came in and then the Irish girl we met earlier came in by herself and we invited her to eat with Holland and us. Her name is Evelyn an she is really cool. She considers herself a Lady Moc. She has her bag sent ahead and has a hair dryer and makeup. She was a semi-professional hurling player. Great conversation. By the end of the night 4 more pilgrims (Germans) from our albergue showed up. I love the moments with just Paul and I and I also love these interactions. One German couple told us that a lot of Germans are inspired to do the Camino because of a book written by a German comedian called something like, “I’m going away for a long time.” I’d like to check this book out. – OK good night.
Up to this point, I had been sleeping in one set of clothes and walking in another. Since my day clothes were soaking wet in the morning, I had to walk in my night clothes, which had been relatively clean. We saw so many incredible things every day. It is interesting, the things I chose to write down and capture each evening. Our routine was that when we checked into our albergue each night, we would shower, then Paul would lay down for a bit and I would write. Then we’d go explore the town we were in and get dinner. It stayed light really late there. Oh, and we’d also rub each other’s feet after we were all fresh and clean again. This was a necessary part of the journey. I had never experienced the feeling of being homesick before. To be honest, I don’t think I ever thought that was a real thing. I can only describe it as a mild anxiety and general feeling that something isn’t right. This is likely what generated the whole, “Paul is a stranger feeling”. I cant really put into words what that feeling was like. It wasn’t a bad thing, it made me think for a minute almost like someone presented me with a handsome man and said, “this is your husband, figure it out.” I look back fondly at this feeling. I’m sure there is a lesson in it somewhere.