Enter Sol stage left

Day 19: Santander ➡️ Santillana Del Mar. DM: 24.5 miles 

2 truths and a lie about Sol.

1. As the U16 #1 ranked tennis player in LatAm, she moved to France to train under Serena Williams’ coach. Before he was Serena Williams’ coach.

2. She has both Argentinian and Polish passports.

3. She drinks 5 cups of coffee. Daily.

All true. No mentiras.

I had heard a lot about Sol before I moved to Kakamega, Kenya. She works a lot. She plays a lot of sports. She is always caffeinated.

She’s going to be your neighbor. Perfecto.

She told me yesterday we have a lot in common. Except religion. She’s the only Jew on this Camino.

But, we’re both left handed — which, obviously, is more important.

Sol took my advice to bring only the bare essentials to El Camino quite literally. She did not bring a sleeping bag/liner nor a towel. Yes, I did tell her to bring both.

I know Sol well enough to have expected as much. Which is why I told her to meet me at a major city, where a Decathalon is en route. Que conveniente. 

The real reason I did el Camino was to hit up all the Decathalons in Spain.

My experience at the Santander Decathalon was mucho mejor que el visit to the Sevilla Decathalon on day #2. Sol, a native Spanish speaker, fluidly navigated through the store.  

Bolsa de dormir? Pasillo 2. 

Toalla de secado rapido? Pasillo 15. 

Tratamiento de ampollas? Tambien Pasillo 2. 

Por supuesto, Sol refused to ask the store attendant where the clif bars were that I wanted to purchase. Like a good friend, she wants me to be fluent by the time this adventure is over. Estoy aprendiendo, mi amiga!

11am and we finally hit the trail — 5 hours behind schedule. Sol operates on Sol time.

Catching up made the miles fly by, and, before we knew it we were at the destination. Nah, let’s keep going. Neither of us knows how to do anything in moderation. Sol’s right — we do have a lot in common.

Pushing to mile 24 ended up being a great decision. We found ourselves in a quaint village with a picturesque albergue. With private rooms. And una cena para los peregrinos. 

Sol, leaning down from the top bunk — These albergues aren’t too bad. What have you been complaining about?

Just you wait, ma friend. 

We met two men in their 60s who went to high school together and have done several El caminos. They heard we had come from Santander — at 11am.

En serio? You guys walk at a fast clip. 

Either that or walking with una compadre es mucho mejor.

Day 20: Santillana Del Mar ➡️ Camillas. DM: 14.5 mi 

Sol had an important call today, so we decided to make it a short one.

The rain held off and we had incredible coastline views. We danced our way through the hillsides — Christopher Cross’ All Right has become an anthem — and made it to the destination by noon. 

Rest of the day? Beach.

Toenail #1 — from my VDP days — just came off. Poetic justice? I think yes.

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