Tag Archives: Astorga

Just Stop With Planning

Day in Astorga

Day in Astorga

Do Not Make Plans. They Don’t Work Out

June 21, 2014

AHHHHH!

We had a nice rest day. Slept on a park bench in front of the Astorga Cathedral and Gaudi Castle until they opened. It is Saturday, everything opens up later in the morning…like 10:30. I highly recommend going in to see these two places. I am learning a lot about the Cathedrals’ history on the Camino. And Gaudi is one of my favorite people of all times. What an artist!

We met up with two of our friends from the American Pilgrims on the Camino, Amy and Ena who arrived in town walking down the middle of the street. It was nice to visit with them before they continued on.

Then we ate lunch. Picked up train snacks. Saw the Roman Bath House ruins that the Catholic Church had dug up while building over it. Ate an ice cream cone. Got lost walking to the train station. Saw some great slums. And upon arriving to the station for our 3:15 departure, found out it was going to be an hour late.
Uh-oh. We also had a connecting train to catch, but it wasn’t going to wait for us.

We hung out in the train station listening to great music from a Brazilian woman’s IPhone while we bonded with her. She had walked the whole way last year, but was leaving the Camino early and heading to Santiago to meet up with friends and head to the beach. She just wasn’t feeling the Camino Spirit inside her anymore. The people were not nice like last year and she found no need to continue.
She was a wonderful help to us in translating for us with the conductor later on.

Ok…so for the fun part. I am all about setting goals. It is the way one progresses. I read Stephan Covey’s books way back when I was 19. Hence why I like to have things kinda planned out and yet I’m not anal enough that I can’t go with the flow, however, NOTHING has gone as planned on this pilgrimage. The one lesson that keeps repeating over and over again is, “Don’t plan. Keep it loose. Just go with the flow.”

The conductor informs us that there isn’t a connecting train at the station for us. No train. He said something about taking a bus or a taxi. He is explaining this in Spanish. Abby comprehends some of it. I’m getting nothing. So for the next 40 minutes we are wondering what we are going to do. We agree that it will work out. We will sleep in the station until the next day to find out when the train comes or the bus comes. Once again, we are going to get in to a station that will be closed. The Albergue that we figured we could stay at would probably be filled up if we continued on to Sarria. And there are ominous dark clouds that completely filled the sky for the entire 4 hour trip. Rain. Yeah. Oh…and snow was on the mountains too in some parts. Yippee-skippee. And tomorrow is Sunday and trains and buses cut back on their service. And we figured we had lost out money for the remainder of our train ride and would have to pay more for another ticket.

The Brazilian woman told us to wake her up when the conductor came back and she would find out the info for us.
Thank goodness for her being there. Turns out that the conductor had made arrangements for a bus to meet us at the station to take not only us, but the other passengers that had missed the connecting train. We could stay the night at the town and have our money refunded partially or continue on without paying any additional money.

Of course we are continuing on.

We get to the station. The bus is there. We ride going 90 down the road and get to Sarria in 30 minutes. Then we get lost trying to find the Albergue. It starts to rain. It is 8:30pm when we find the place. And they are filled up.

I’m going to cry. It is raining. We look like pathetic drowned rats. We ask if they can call another place to see if they have rooms. Informed that the hostel down the street has beds at 20€ each. “I can’t afford that” I say as water is running down my face. She looks at us and says, “Wait a minute” when she comes back, she has found us each a bed in her place one at 9€ and another at 10€!

Yes. It has worked out. And breakfast is included.

We are tired. Grateful. And we will continue to start each day with prayer to help us find a bed that we can afford each night. We also give thanks each night for the blessings we have received each day.

Now let’s see if my prayers for no rain while I’m walking play out.

 

 

It’s the End of the World as We Know It…and I Feel Fine

Sleep in peace

Sleep in peace

Don’t Stop Believing

June 20, 2014

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel. No. Really. I mean it. After last night’s experience in Leon with the two rude women twins who locked the window shut due to the party noise outside. The only ventilation for the one women’s section that housed 30 of us females, we were in was now cut off and I cannot begin to describe the Hell Hole that room became.

Stunk of farts, B.O., stale pee from the bathroom…and the heat was stifling. I had nightmares. Woke up soaking in my own sweat at 4 am and had to flee the room for the outside courtyard in order to breath.

That was it. No mas.

Plus my left foot is not cooperating. A ligament is strained. If I sit or stop moving, it tightens up, swells and hurts. I limp when I walk. It is sore and throbbing. But I’m bound and determined to finish this pilgrimage come Hell or high water. I did not climb the Pyrenees to go home without my Compostella.

So we took the bus to Astorga. Yup…jumping ahead, but time is moving forward and so do we. I have no shame. I have no guilt. I do not owe anyone any excuses for doing so. Even though I overheard a conversation about pilgrims doing as such, being described as losers and cheaters. That compassionate pilgrim spirit hasn’t bit that group of pilgrims in their butt yet.

And then upon arrival, we decided…well…I decided that perhaps now is the time to bite the bullet and take the bus to Sarria. This is the point where you HAVE to walk 100km and collect two stamps per day on your credential in order to get your Compostella. This isn’t an easy decision to come to. I had looked through the next stages coming up. Knew we would take a bus in two of them, but for the most part walk and still have time left over.

Then as I was stewing in my own juices last night, the thought came to me that perhaps I should go to Sarria now and not hobble through the next stages, eeking out the left foot. What if it got worse and due to it becoming more inflamed I wouldn’t be able to continue during this last stage that HAD to completed by foot ( or bike or horse)? All for not. I would be upset with myself for NOT finishing.

Turns out, we can’t reach Sarria by bus, only by train. And we are going out late on Saturday from here, take the train to a connecting point and continue on from there. We won’t arrive in Sarria until 6:30 pm on a Saturday night. It is a crowded place with a lot of pilgrims just coming in to start their pilgrimage. We don’t know if we will have a place to sleep or not. But we are going for it.

Anyway, all of this has been a bummer. Last night’s experience. Caving into jumping so far ahead…I was feeling pretty crappy about everything, when we reached the Albergue (Albergue Publico in Plaza de San Francisco 3) that I had seen advertised last week at the 80 men hostel. It looked nice in the picture. In person, it is stunning. And they gave Abby and I our own room. With a window. With a view. For 5€ each. We squealed and jumped up and down delighted with this.

Things happen. Things work out one way or other. If we hadn’t stayed in the 80 men hostel, we wouldn’t have found this place. Just when you get discouraged and start kicking yourself because The Plan is not working, something better comes along to give you an attitude/ gratitude adjustment.

We will continue to progress.