I’ve met so many characters along the way. Today, I walked for a while with pastor Bob. We’ve crossed paths many times but it was lovely to see him today, as I thought he must be way ahead of me. He is a retired army chaplain. He carries a fold up chair which is his ‘luxury item’. He told me that he was yelling at god yesterday because his feet were aching from walking on the hard surfaces. He decided to park his chair in the middle of a field and listen to nature, watch the pilgrims go by and just ‘be’. He is such a lovely kind and compassionate man. Found him today trying to help his Italian friend fix his blisters, then they walked off. Not deterred by the language barrier, they sang together, and it made me smile to hear ‘oh solo mio’ drifting through the air in the lush green valley.
Another character I met a few days ago has been walking for 4 years! He started in Prague and has travelled through most of Europe. He washes himself, and his clothes, in the rivers. He has no money and relies on strangers. He knocks on the church doors at night for food and shelter! Amazing….he was on his way back from Santiago and was heading for Rome. I didn’t take his photo because it seemed wrong. He was a REAL pilgrim!
I am missing my friend Colleen who went home two days ago. She is English but lives just outside Bordeaux…a brave cancer survivor who just makes the most of every minute. We crossed the Pyrenees together and she will always be my Camino buddy. This was her second Camino and I will be forever grateful for her help, support and friendship. We went through some amazing experiences together and she made me laugh so much. I find myself thinking in her accent!
Then there is Judy and Verna, my two Texan buddies. What a crazy pair they are. I have met a few Texans in my time and they seem so different to other Americans. Hoping to catch up with them tonight, but who knows. They also are very funny women. One of them also a cancer survivor out to enjoy life.
I am told there are many Australians but I have only met a couple, mostly Queenslanders from Brisbane and Cairns. Met a lovely couple from Mt Martha, but they were on a time restriction so they hired bikes. Left me eating their dust! Have also met a guy from the Faroe Islands!