After a great night, where we enjoyed the absolute luxury of having a bed and bath to ourselves, 30 euro, we headed out at a decadent 9:30 am.We expected to be the last pilgrims on the road, but we rounded a corner into the church square to the din of a pilgrim cafe. The 3.50 euro desayuno menu lured us in and we chowed down on omellette patatas, naranja, cafe con leche, and fresh bread, I would include a picture but we ate it all before the moment was captured. As we headed out of town, a fellow pilgrim was sitting on the road playing with a batch of kittens. We stopped to watch and I commented that, “you have to love a country that has so many cats”. He agreed and we kept walking. The day was already hot and the path led next to a truck highway, not the nicest. As we walked, the kitten pilgrim caught up with us and John asked if he had a kitten in his backpack, he said “no”, but slowed to walk with us. He was originally from Cuba but now lived in Florida, a state “full of ridiculous people who kept voting against their best interests.” But he didn’t rail on politics, instead he talked about his walk and how walking had changed his outlook. He said he used to be a happy person, but over time he had become angry, and he had started this walk angry. But crossing the Pyrenees mountains in the rain and the wind, a Japanese woman told him the walk was the best way to solve his problems, better than therapy. And if he wasn’t going to be positive, just get off the trail.
The man said he started looking at the walk as a series of fortuitous meetings with strangers and he had decided to extend his visa and continue traveling for another 6 months. He liked our stories of Hawaii and said that was a place he’d have to check out. He complemented our perseverance and the fact we were walking together as a couple; he wished he had someone to walk with. The hours and miles passed pleasantly and eventually we said goodbye and that we would see him down the trail. Before he left, he asked our names, and then I asked his… he said “Jesus”. You meet all sorts of interesting people on the Camino. -K