Thursday, August 2, 2012
Wow! What a day!!! In a good way!
My little green book said that today was 7.5 hours of hiking 24.5K and a red day - that means mountain climbing. Personally, the hike didn't seem that steep to me, but the last five k were brutal as it was straight downhill. It was as if I was walking in a dry waterfall going down hill. Had to watch my step, not look at the scenery and walk, and even then avoid falling. Only almost fell once, but poles saved my keister.
The good news is that today I was witness and participant to two miracles...more on that later.
The trail today was the most varied of any thus far. We went through heather, walked on side of road, on roads, on cushy dusty trails, on quarter-size gravel trails, etc. At one point the trail was extremely narrow and bushes were loaded with bees. I figured that as long as I didn't stand still, I'd probably be okay. Amazingly, I did not get stung. (that may have been a miracle but not one of the two!)
Okay, here it comes... way up high on the mountain, near the top is the Cruz de Ferro or "El Humungo Cross". The traditiona is that pilgrims place something that they've brought with them from home on the cross. Pilgrims have been doing this for 100's of years and now the pile is huge. I could see the cross from some distance and being the worrier that I am, I thought, "Cripes! I don't have anything from home that I can leave on this cross. If it was something I didn't need, I'd have pitched it by now!" Right at that moment, my backpack strap snapped and I had to take it off to fix it.
Once the strap was jerry-rigged, I hoisted the pack up and saw something jump off the pack. I picked it up and it was the metal plate that said "Caribee" which is the maker of my backpack. BOOM! I had something that had come from my home! Miracle #1
It was also proof that when something happens, we don't know if it is bad or good. When the backpack strap broke, I thought, "Oh, that's not good!" but hey, no broken strap, no miracle!"
So is it good??? Well, what if someone is touching the metal and lightening strikes them?
He has about 5 people living there with him and he dresses like a Knight of the Templar. Hey, who am I to say he's not. He gives out coffee, tea, cookies, and has souvenirs for sale. All in all, it's a guy living out his dream. It's a shame that people who wear glasses can't be taken serious when they don certain roles, such as a cowboy or a knight. It just doesn't work. Even if you really are a cowboy or a knight, you will never be the poster boy. Life ain't fair!
After leaving the bespectacled Templar, the trail begins it's final ascent to the highest point on the Camino and it was along this part that the second miracle occurred. I was walking and BOOM, I had an idea of what I can do in my next life...er...my next life in this life. It has something to do with the Camino, but... well here it is: First the preface. Not to brag, but as a principal, I "led" a school to the highest State honor it can achieve, the A+ rating, the highest honor that a school can earn in the nation, The Blue Ribbon nomination, (won't know if we won until Sept.), (First school in PVUSD in ...ever???), the ninth ranked school in the state (which includes schools that get to pick their students), a school that increased enrollment from 680 to almost 800.... okay get the point? I think I can say objectively that I had some clue about how to run a school. Okay, so with those qualifications, you'd think that a district would want someone like me to help their principals, right? Oh but the fly in the ointment...they've got no money!!!! That's where the Camino comes in. On the Camino, you see on a daily basis, people doing nice things and asking little in return. Sooooooo..... here's my offer to districts - Would you like me to help your principals be more effective...for free?... Yes, you read that right. Why not money? Well, that's private, but basically, money is not the currency that I am currently dealing in.
What do you think?
The city you see below is the one that I spent 1/2 the day walking down to, and as it turns out, is much like the one that I will be staying an extra day. More on that later.
What a cool little town - Acebo! It's the picture above!
Finally, the black slate town of Molinaseca came into view. Of course, this is delusional. It seems that once I see the towns, they keep moving away from me as I near them. But eventually, I did get to the town, and for once the church/cathedral/ermita is the first building I came to!! I could hear kids screaming with joy and I could see the top of an old bridge and put two and two together to get - aha! this is where the river is!!
I like to put a lot of thought into my decisions, though I'm sure it may not seem that way... however, I saw the river, I have a computer, I have the time...I decided to stay in Molinaseca for an extra day. I'll heal, write some on my idea, eat, swim. Das ist good! (Gunther would be so proud of my German!)
I couldn't wait. I checked into a room, took a shower, walked back down to the river and soaked my tootsies in the water. It was cold, but not like Tahoe, water. That is cooooolllldddd water! I will check tomorrow to see if there are trout in this river and if so, will search for a guide and stay another day.
I then went to dinner after going to the pharmacy to get band-ades, and heat compresses. I had hoped they had one that was body size, but had to settle for back and knee size! After dropping that back into the room, I headed out to dinner to a place called Casa Ramon. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home so you are stuck with these pictures. :(
Okay there was another miracle today, probably the most unexpected one of all. I actually took a photo of a cat!
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
― Mark Twain