It was not lost on me that the first day could be considered as metaphors to real life.
For example, I thought I was done, spent, exhausted but pulled enough extra out of reserve to make it to the hotel. I even noticed the horses across the path on the way in. (Question: if a horse is wearing a cowbell, do we still call it a cowbell?)
I might also observe that every time I thought we had reached the top…. we came around a bend and had another ascent. Just like the way it seems when things are going great, but there is yet another challenge.
And for those that say “it’s downhill from there” to indicate that things are going to be easy in real life or the Camino don’t have a clue what they are talking about. The downhill segments were also very hard and slow to avoid falling. And I learned how many of our muscles we use going down hill -hint: it’s a lot of them.
But the weather was perfect: a bit windy and cool on top, but most of the way I had my jacket off. And sunny skies. (Note to self:use sunscreen on your hands, too).
The hotel was very nice and comfortable. I treated myself to a nice dinner as a way of basqueing in my accomplishment.
As tough as it was, there are tougher things and we need to respect and honor those who undertake to achieve tougher things. For example, one woman I met yesterday is a cancer survivor (that stands in and of itself) but she also has hiked Kilimanjaro. Double accomplishment.
Or the woman I met who started last year and had to stop after running into heavy snow on top, enough that they couldn’t see ahead of them… and by the time it got to be about 6 inches, they turned back. Imagine, again, early pilgrims taking this route in early spring.
So far, I’ve met a teacher from Sweden, an entrepreneur from London and Sydney, and a retired couple from Phoenix. And a few more for which I didn’t learn details. Oh wait, there was the young lady who is doing the Camino before starting her new job fundraising for a university… she stands out for asking the van driver to be in her Tik Tok.
And a question: if someone puts a cowbell on a horse, can you still call it a cowbell?
Such was day 1. On to the next segment.