Tired of misty morning photos? Me too. So early on today I decided to write about “every day we learn something new”.
But how can I excite you about the wonder of big fat black slugs crawling up slender green stalks? I never realised they could. And are you really interested in knowing that yesterday I realised HEAT was the culprit for an antagonistic afternoon’s walking, so today we were up before 6. However, our departure was delayed as breakfast took a very long time to stomach – today I learnt that serving up AllBran is a sure way to set everyone off on the wrong foot 😉
Not particularly captivating lessons are they? So I decided to drop the learning theme and introduce you to our Primitivo Family instead.
Jorge and Leticia from Venezuela, and Johanne and Daniel from Quebec who are travelling with Aline from France, have been with us from the first night. Some days we walk to a different destination, but then the next day we end up together. If anyone asks, we certainly did not let the South American couple into an albergue when they turned up late and there were no beds left in the village and the last bus had gone. I don’t think we would have suggested they throw their mattress rolls on the floor;-)
Actually, that night Ella-Rose and I top-and-tailed in a bunk (never again, by the way) – and that brings me to another family member. He’s a young guy from Korea, here to push himself. He gets up at five and is as quiet as a mouse. Not only is he considerate in the morning, but that night he gave up his bunk so that us top-and-tailers could be on the bottom and not risk clattering from the top to the floor. Our paths crossed at breakfast-time today (he had a can of coke while we had our AllBran), but not again after I decided on bloggy introductions, so there’s no picture.
There are other guys, who we have not seen at all today. Two older men from Italy, and two younger ones. One of the younger ones is called Mr Green Sheet because he has his own green silk sheet and pillowcase. We first became acquainted with him at one of those places where the bunks are arranged side-by-side….as in a double bed. He and I shared and it became the source of much hilarity the following night in the after-dinner-discussions. But I think you either had to be there – or maybe it was the red wine consumed with dinner!
Actually, at that dinner were some more family members. Jorda and Holly, who shared deeply about their reasons for walking and living. Darryl and Carol, who happen to live about ten minutes away from us in NZ! They keep turning up all over the place, because they get left behind and then take taxis to catch up – their main requirement is to walk more of the route than Darryl’s son did a couple of years ago. On-road reports suggest that this couple shares cherries with whoever they meet!
Here you see an English woman who just had a significant birthday this week and a Dutch girl, who, of course, loves cheese. They met at the beginning of their walk and have walked together ever since. Tonight they cooked together and made enough to feed an army. Unfortunately we were doing the very same – had we waited, we could have just eaten their leftovers! Instead, we all shared with others!
Veronika from the Czech Republic became part of our family early on. She will always be remembered as the lady who bought the kids iceblocks the day they made it to 1,000km! She has also been an active supporter of our charity:water campaign, sharing the cause with her circle of family and friends.
Alberto, mentioned previously on this blog as Mr Jingle Bells, comes from Madrid. When he and Canadian Daniel get together with the kids, there’s no stopping the joking and laughter and seriously silly behaviour. They are a load of fun.
Alberto is a fast walker. There has been some good-natured competitive banter between him and some competitive boys in the family. Today we got a head start and it was quite some time before he caught us, because our AllBran was powering us up the hill at the remarkable-for-us pace of over 5km/hr.
When Alberto caught us this morning, he very graciously did not zoom past, but slowed his pace to match ours and walked with us for quite a few miles. He even gave Spanish lessons on the go and drew the youngest out of her longlasting AllBran meltdown. I am forever grateful to him!
There are others who as yet are “extended family” but with another day or so may become “immediate family”. The Belgian couple, who we met for the first time yesterday and shared snacks and conversation with, are in our dorm tonight. At dinner tonight were a couple of American guys (at least one of them a high school teacher) – the common tongue makes it possible we will talk again if our paths continue to cross.