Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Camino Entry 28

Day 28, December 22nd, 2011
Expenses, Day 28
Pastries: 2.90
Coffee: 1.10
Dinner: 3.65
Chocolate: 2.00
Albergue: 10.00
Total: 19.65
Trip Total: 645.73

Today was another short day, just because of how things worked out.  Tomorrow will be more than 20 kilometers.  I'm in Nájera.

And the albergue is busy!  The three Koreans and Ernesto are back, along with an older Korean man who the call the “master.”  He's the president of his local walking association back home, and is a professional.  Ursula's here, as well, and a Brazilian guy named Cleber that the other guys picked up.  Quite a group, really.

I love them all, but we are a dysfunctional little organization.  It is good that we have the chance to get away from each other on the road.  People don't go on pilgrimages because they have things figured out – they go because they don't have things figured out, and we are excellent proof of that.

The Christmas festivities in Spain are in full swing.  Nájera is all decorated – the little Santas on ladders or paragliders hanging from windows and balconies are particularly popular this year.  The square next to the albergue has been taken over by children who have constructed a miniature Jerusalem.  Angels on roller skates, little Arabs with Crayola beards, and straw and tents are everywhere!  They're selling hot cakes, telling fortunes, and singing.  It's impressive, really.

The Christmas music playing on Calle Mayor (Frank Sinatra) made me a little homesick for friends and family.  I can tell that it would be a lot worse if I wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit as strongly as I am right now.  Usually I get a bit of the Charlie Brown, “Why don't I feel in the spirit?” syndrome each year about this time, but this year it never materialized.  It probably has something to do with being on the camino.

I am thinking a bit about what I will do when I get home.  I know, I shouldn't, I should instead focus on what I am doing here, but I can't help it.  I am thinking about spending some time at a zen center.  Student?  Resident?  Renter?  I dunno.  I need to go talk to the monks and see if it feels right.  Maybe a pilgrimage to zen centers in the USA in is order.

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