Today, Saturday, Aug. 20 was Day 6 of walking, and we’ve covered more than 100K to date. Today’s “mileage” was 22K to our lodging. We knew it would be a tough one because of anticipated heat (93 degrees at the end of the trail), and the last “services” were at 9.5K.
That means no water fountains, no towns, no nada for four hours (or more?). And, did I mention the heat? In preparation, we decided to take the risk of leaving our rain coats, rain pants and backpack covers in the suitcase to make our backpacks lighter.
We filled our “camelback” water pouches to the brim, 2 liters.
Water or Wine?
Look what we found at the Monastery at 3K mark—la Fuente de Vino. The fountain of wine. One tap is water, one is wine. We didn’t bring cups, so we had to improvise.
Until two Italian bicyclists showed up and offered a tin cup.
Yes, it was bueno. Donna and I each took a sip and called it Camino communion.
(It has taken me more than two hours to create the above post. It’s getting close to bedtime, so I’m going to try and post the picture (I have a great video that I may put on Facebook) that captures the dramatic, albeit somewhat desolate scenery.
And we realized how precious our Camelback water reservoirs were when we stepped to the side of trail for a passing car.
“It’s the police!” I said. “What in the world are they doing out here?”
The car with two uniformed officers stopped beside us, rolled down the window and asked, “Esta bein? You OK?”
I answered yes in Spanish and the officer driving knew enough English to communicate that they were patrolling the Camino with the sole purpose of helping peregrinos (Pilgrims walking the Camino). He asked if we had enough water, we said we did by wiggling the spigot of our water bladders.
Then he told us that there are no water fountains in Los Arcos, which was our destination. And nothing between us and Los Arcos.
OK, we’re OK.
“If you need help, you call 062,” he said as he pointed to the outside of the driver’s side of the vehicle. “We here for peregrinos.”
When we truly looked at the vehicle and read what was on the side, we got so excited and touched by the focus of these men and their mission.
”Can we take a picture?” I asked in Spanish.
“Si, si,” he said, and took my phone from me.
And then Donna said, “We want YOU in the picture!”
Kojak of the Camino!
We ended the day in good spirits. That’s a win, trust me. The last 2 or 3K is when the mental game comes into play. Horse-to-Barn mode is not the best, but Grumpy Town is worse. Today was “Hot and Bothered, but Proud and Powerful.”