April 28th, 2018. Logrono to Navarette, Spain. Camino de Santiago.
I am not going to sugar coat this: today was one of my hardest days on the Camino. And it wasn’t even a difficult trail!
Well, it seemed the Universe was paying me back for boasting about my empty dorm room in Logroño and filled the space with three party girls. When I returned last night from dinner with Jerry and Sharon, I noticed four beds were taken and what looked to be something like a teenage girl’s bedroom – the room had exploded with stuff. A suitcase lay open on the floor, a hair dryer close by, the shared bathroom filled with beauty products all over the place. This was, remember, a hostel with a shared bathroom, but the girls had treated it like it was their own private room.
One more night I thought.
I went to bed around 10.30, fell asleep around midnight. One girl came in quietly. (I determined the next morning she was not connected to the other three).
Around 1 am, the girls returned. One stayed and went to bed, the other two ran out giggling. I fell back asleep around 2.30 am. At 4 am, the two giggling girls returned, drunk as all get out. Upon entering the room, they turned on the lights and began standing there, stuffing their faces with cream-filled pastries, spilling it all over the floor.
Someone asked to turn the light off. They did but kept the bathroom light on and the door open the entire time, including while they showered and did god-knows-what for 45 mins.
By 5 am they had flushed the toilet 10 times, made all kinds of racket, and were completely oblivious to anyone else in the room. By 5.15am it was quiet – until one got up running to the bathroom to throw up.
At 6.15am, their alarm went off and yep, they slept through it. Well, I am not ashamed to say, the ‘Mum” in me came out. Well maybe not with Mum language, but I said, in their direction, “turn your f***ing alarm off.” Someone hit snooze and it went off again at 6.30.
At this point, I was done and dusted with their bullshit. I got up, grabbed my stuff and went into the common room. But, I was so tired and angry with the evening’s events that I forgot to forward my pack on and left town, carrying my backpack and with an empty stomach (and no coffee). I also had no anticipated that I would have a 13km hike uphill, with little services along the way.
By the time I hit Navarrete, I was in tears, my body screaming with each and every step, my feet aching like no one’s business. And I was done. I stopped and hit FaceTime to talk to my husband. I asked him if he could look at flights for me, as I had to continue walking, but I wanted to just come home. I was tired. I was emotional. But I knew, with every ounce of my being, I was done dealing with bloody millennials on the Camino.
Here’s the thing though: Rich and I had an agreement when I said I was walking the Camino. He was not to let me quit, no matter how much I wanted it. Knowing that, he talked me ‘off the ledge’. He asked where I was specifically and using Google Maps, found a café that was only about one hundred metres from where I was standing. While I was to eat something, using his tech tools from Australia, he found me a hotel nearby – not a hostel or an Albergue – but a hotel, just for one night. I needed sleep and rest. He told me where it was, and the best way to get there from the café. I wanted to cry. Wait. I did cry.
With a full belly, I walked slowly to the hotel. Even the café owners stayed open long enough for me to eat my bocadillo (they were closing when I arrived) and confirmed the directions for the hotel in broken English. There is a saying: that the Camino provides, and with this hospitality, my faith was returning. The bocadillo was delicious – a full baguette stuffed with hand sliced ham and cheese – accompanied by a zumo de naranja (freshly squeezed orange juice) and a cafe con leche (espresso coffee with milk).
I have now walked 215km of the Camino and I am feeling every step of it. I’m wiped out and I’m done in. Physically and mentally.
I have booked ahead for the next two nights and they will be short walking days.