Camino del Norte Day Sixteen: Comillas to San Vicente to Llanes

OK, first things first for the competitive types out there: today we cheated. If it was a competition, we lost. If it was a purist you-didn’t-really-do-the-camino-unless-you-walked-every-step person, we didn’t do it. Rules: broken. Schedule:whacked. Pride:swallowed.

Now that that’s done, we can move on, eh?

It was an early morning (3:30 for Lis, 5 for me, 5:30 departure) leaving Comillas. One anxiety that contributed was a couple of work calls we have to do this evening, and the need for a solid cel and internet connection. By the time I was awake, Lis was already pretty worried about our options, and she reluctantly suggested that maybe we take the train from the next big station (about 15k away) to the next big town. That would effectively remove a whole stage (what most of the guidebooks call each day’s walk) from our schedule.

What ensued was a walk in the dark, with our headlamps, as we talked about why we are doing this walk, what’s important to us, and whether changing gears (from feet to wheels on tracks) felt right to us. Until today, neither of us had been in a vehicle for two weeks! (When is the last time I could say that?) We talked about whether we should expect epiphanies on this walk, whether one can ever expect an epiphany, and how we’ll be if we finish the walk and our lives aren’t clearly transformed. Questions? Lots. Answers? Mmmmmm, not many.

So, we reminded ourselves that it’s our walk, and we headed for the train. But first…

A breathtaking sunrise in the beautiful city of San Vicente, over the boats on the water and the folks up early checking their nets. A thirteenth century bridge into town. Lots of photographs. A couple of strong coffees at a cute sleepy cafe. A speedy round of laundry at the lavandaria next door. And a quick walk the 2.5k to the station.

While waiting at the station I was approached and courted by a very very dusty little puppy, who decided after a prolonged tummy rub to wait for the train with us.

Catching the train was surreal: it was a beautiful, clean, quiet modern train (which opened only one door at a tiny, one-door platform at the station), and then, in 40 minutes, we covered what would have taken a day and a half by foot. It felt like being a fish, pulled up out of a river from our school, and dropped downriver a few miles with a new school. Different landscape, different Peregrinos.

Tonight we’re on the top floor of a lovely little hotel, Lis is fighting off a fever (cold coming on?) and heading into her conference call. My call was cancelled, so I’m just getting a bit of work done and maybe going for a wander during her call.

ahill-10-17-16-img_2057And you know what? Tomorrow we’ll walk again, and everything will be just fine.ahill-10-17-16-img_2062

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