Today the weather forecast was for rain. It was also the day we were to do the biggest climb on this Camino. We walked with two men from New England. Their names are Mart and Ike. Ike was a ratbag, about to be sent to prison as a nineteen year old. Mart rescued him, adopting him into his family when he was just 26 years old himself. Ike did call Mart “Dad”, so there was some plausibility to this story. And they are serious Americans, who of course would never tell a lie (that’s what they said anyway – whether it is the truth is another matter)
Apparently Mart is 85 years old – he’s doing really well bouncing up the hills. I’m not sure they believed that our Grandpa really did walk the camino at 80 years of age!
Ike talked about making maple syrup and even had videos and photos on his phone to prove this might be true. Co-incidentally, we then stumbled up the hill through the pine forest where bags of something was being collected, in a similar fashion to how they collect maple sap.
As we walked, we talked and discovered more of their stories. Mart hired Ike for a teaching job back in the 1980s, even though he turned up a whole hour late to the interview. He says they were desperate. But the two of them seem to get on OK now when they’re not hassling each other. In fact, Mart who lives six hours away turned up to support Ike six hours after hearing his wife had died. Sounds like Mart’s wife likes Ike as much as Mart does – she certainly gives Ike as hard a time. For example, she asked Ike to make sure Mart changes his socks on the Camino.
Ohh, and we found out Ike is actually 61 years old…which helped clarify the authenticity (or lack thereof) of some of the earlier stories.
Remember that rain I told you about? You can see those clouds full of it. Sometimes it leaked out. It would drop steadily enough that we would all put jackets/ponchos on. The problem wasn’t so much the rain as the fact that it was humid, so our new friend Ike would get even more wet under his poncho than if he had walked in the rain. This made him think wearing a poncho was an exercise in futility, and so he would remove his poncho. And this would cause the rain to start again!! (True story)
Another true story: Ike just came downstairs from having a nap in the hundreds-of-years-old farmhouse we are staying in…….he thought he would take a walk (it’s what you do after walking 30.7km!!) and as soon as he stepped outside (without his poncho) it started to rain.
Anyway, back to the day…..it was a wonderful walk mostly through forest trails. There were fewer cobblestones than previously, but even they provided respite from the other stones:
So what do you think kids? Any lies?
And tonight we have a private room with ensuite in a stone farmhouse called Quinta Estrada Romana (Farm on the Roman Road) and someone is cooking us dinner and breakfast is all laid out ready. Art and Mike are doing stuff on their phones. Look – it’s true: