Walk Eat Sleep Repeat

5:00 am - The first alarm rings. Did I really put my alarm on 5 am? I hear someone crawling out of his sleepingbag, trying to move quietly. Unfortunately unsuccessfully. I close my eyes and roll on the other side.

5:30 am - Another alarm. Someone likes to stand up to the sound of Don't stop me now by Queen... I laugh and close my eyes again.

But there is no chance to sleep anymore. Slowly one after another is packing their stuff into the backpacks and hitting the road.

I am awake, but I cant stand up. I have to ask myself a question, that defines who I will be for the rest of the Camino.

Do I stand up with the others and be one of them? Or do I stay one hour longer in bed, happy, but for the rest of the time the one, that arrives everywhere last?

I decided that I'm doing this for myself and if my body needs one more hour, it gets one more hour. Even if it means, that next night will be no bed for me available. Besides, i have the whole bathroom for myself.

6:30 am - There is not much left on the breakfastbuffet, but enough for me. A coffee, a pastry and an apple and im prepared for the walk.

7:30 am - I'm on the Camino de Santiago, in a little village in the middle of nowhere, with a 10 Kg Backpack on my shoulders and my hikingboots on. I couldn't be happier.

 

I started yesterday in Spain. I skipped unfortunately the french Pyrenees, but there was not enough time for it.

I took a train to this little city and got my so called credential. You know, this paper, where you collect diverse stamps from the places you've stayed. Next thing was following the others. The others are the people with a big or small backpack on, big boots and here and there a shell attached. The shell is the symbol of this whole business and you basicly follow it the whole way down to Santiago de Compostela.

You find it on signs, stones and sprayed on walls, floors or trees. Sometimes it's a challenge to find them, which is part of the fun.

At first i had to cross many big streets and pass busy areas, but after the next corner i could see it. The countryside.

Finally only peace, a horizon, the road and me.

 

1:00 pm - I'm hungry and tired. I walked almost 6 hours, some little breaks included. My survivalbook says the next pilgrim site is another 6km away. Ok, that sounds makeable for me. It's my first day, i don't have to pretend to be Hulk. But first I stop here on this sunny bench and enjoy my selfmade Sandwich. Other pilgrims are passing by and wishing me a 'Buen Camino!'.

3.00 pm - The pilgrimsite is almost full. I was lucky to get one of the last 3 beds. I am suprised, i thought the Pilgrims walk until early evening. But i guess, once you stand up at 5 in the morning, you have to go to bed early as well. I find my bed in an old stable, together with 19 other people. I am so tired, that i don't even start to worry about all the passionate snorers.

6.00 pm - We enjoy a typical spanish dinner together. I share a table with a swedish woman, a polish woman, an italian couple and two men from Croatia. It's a nice atmosphere, everyone is completely relaxed from the long walk and the good air. They share their most memorable Caminomoments and giving me freshmanadvices.

7.00 pm - The first Pilgrims are already in their beds reading a book or talking to their bedneighbours.

8.30 pm - It's getting quiet. There are not many people left to talk to. Experiencing from my many stays in hostels, i considered festive evenings. I guess walking the Camino is more a calm, finding-your-inner-peace kind of thing. Works for me.

9.00 pm - The lights are out and the first guys are starting their concert. Also my eyes are closing slowly.