Sergio knows best.

Day 24: Isla ➡️ Amandi: DM: 15.8 mi

One week in and Sol and I are starting to resemble an old married couple. 

She knows I appreciate a timely 630am departure. I know she needs a caffeine hit before mile 2. 

She knows the needs of my verging-on-post-menopausal bladder. I know that she needs me to remind her to drink solo una vez cada hora. Sol was born from a camel.

I know that the best way to give her a boost is to play some Ariana. She knows that I will walk anywhere, any distance for some Whitney Houston. Girl’s got lungs. 

Like any old married couple, we have also learned things from each other.

I taught Sol that agua is indeed a masculine noun en Espanol. I was definitely the Spanish class teacher’s pet. Sol told me to get over myself.

She, in turn, is expanding my pop culture knowledge — and fluency in Judaism — with an endless repertoire of Curb Your Enthusiasm videos. I don’t understand all the jokes, but, the sense of humor is growing on me. She tells me I also have Seinfeld to look forward to. I can’t keep up.

I have also learned what Reddit is. Sol explained it’s enabling people to help people. How radical! After this Camino is over, I think I’m going to start a Reddit thread helping Alito further apply 13th century law to modern times. Because we all believe in regressing instead of making forward progress, right homeskillet? 

I also introduced a word to Sol’s vocabulary — peacocking — just the other day. Yes, she’s already used it against me. As we departed our Albergue at 6:43AM, she told me that I had been “peacocking” to the other peregrinos at dinner. 

Caro, no MPA this, MBA that. Say it straight. Policy. Business. 

You can bet there was no stop for a cortado that morning. 

She also has given me feedback on my interpersonal skills. Sol tells me I need to work on confronting problems. I need to communicate more directly. We now start all of our conversations with — I feel. We’d get an A+ in couples therapy. Yes, I’m still a teacher’s pet. 

The easier day helped Sol’s blisters. It also brought a nice change of pace. I made my first breakfast in three weeks. We even left at 9am. It also gave one of our favorite peregrinos, Maximo, a chance to catch up. He’s an older Spanish gentleman who has done a number of caminos and walks with a twinkle in his eye. 

Last night at the albergue he was explaining to Sol in rapid-fire Spanish why the towns have fully booked accommodation. Sol was nodding and throwing in “Claro’s” intermittently. Sounded like she was tracking. 

Sounds like there’s a religious festival? – I ask Sol, looking for explanation. 

Eh – she shrugs — I had no clue what he was talking about. 

Sol — I start — I feel — like you need to work on your communication.

Ma friend, touché.

Day 25: Amandi ➡️ Gijon. DM: 19 mi

Today began with a comedy of errors.

Over un cafe this morning, our albergue host, Sergio, told us what it had been like to do caminos back in the 80’s.

Los flechas no existen. Tuve que preguntar para direcciones. (The arrows marking the way didn’t exist. I had to ask for directions) 

I bet you also had to walk uphill both ways, right Sergio?

He challenged us to go a day without our phones. Old Camino style. 

Sure, sure. 

We confidently bounded off — only to realize 400m later that we forgot our hiking poles. 

We high-tailed it back and nabbed them before Sergio saw us. 

Alright, take 2. 

Mid conversation ~0.75 miles later, Sol tells me she forgot her Tevas. And a shirt. En serio?! 

Sol’s true goal on this Camino is to slowly rid her pack of all items.

I run back, sans pack, to Sergio’s, and avoid eye contact as I grab Sol’s items. Dashing back to Sol, however, I realize that I, using my phone, had led us 0.75 mi in the wrong direction.

De acuerdo, we should have gone sin mobil, per Sergio’s instruction, and asked for his directions. Point taken, Sergio.

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