Day 10, Tosantos to Ages, 23.1km

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May 10th, 2013

Walking alone.

The albergue had a rule that no-one was allowed to get up before 6:45am, so I got a sleep-in! I had to say goodbye to Hans today, we had met on the bus to St Jean and walked together for 9 days but it was time to go our separate ways so we could both experience walking alone on the camino… although you’re never really alone.

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It was a cold and overcast day and the track was predominantly mud because of yesterday’s rainfall but thankfully it wasn’t raining today. I was slip-sliding along for almost 10 km! Someone told me that it was possible to call ahead to private albergues and make bookings, it was the first I had heard about it but due to not finding accommodation twice already, I was willing to give it a try. So yesterday I called ahead an albergue in a tiny town called Ages (population 60) and made a reservation in my non-existent Spanish …well I hoped I had a made a reservation! This meant I could take it easy, stop whenever I wanted, walk whatever pace I wanted, talk to whoever I wanted for however long..and not feel like I was in a hurry to get a bed at the destination.

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The track was steep ups and downs and then through a beautiful pine forest. I saw a red and black squirrel chasing each other and it was the first wildlife I’d seen in days. I met a German couple who had found love on the camino a week ago, how romantic!! I do admire the friends and married couples walking together, it couldn’t be easy spending so much time together in these conditions. It was nice to walk alone and to find my rhythm, at one point I thought it would be possible to sleepwalk, my legs seem to know what to do now. I ran into the Mexican lady (who cried when she read out the note last night) at the first cafe and I gave her a hug, I think we both needed it. I remembered how an elderly lady stopped me in the street a few days ago, she grabbed my hands and started talking about Santiago. She went on and on in Spanish, all the while holding my hands and then hugged me. I mentioned it to someone later that night as I had no idea what she had been saying to me, they said she was probably asking me to pray for her in Santiago when I arrive at the cathedral…

Santa Eulalia Church, Ages

Santa Eulalia Church, Ages

 

I had dinner at the albergue tonight on a table with 10 older French people who didn’t speak any English. It was paella again with chicken and chorizo, it must be a regional thing. My diet seems to be consisting of tortilla and chorizo, surely the Spanish eat something else?

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