Camino del Norte Day 23

Tuesday September 27, 2022
Vilalba to Baamonde

DayDateFrom-ToSunriseWeatherStart# HrsMilesKmElev.
2327-SepVilalba -Baamonde8:2353 Fog6:455:1812.720.4897

Fog. Lots of fog. It started clearing about 2 hours into our walk, shortly after sunrise. It wasn’t really that cold, but it felt colder than 53 degrees because of the dampness in the air. We were excited because we knew that we’d get to the 100km mark today. Just 62 more miles to our destination!

There was only one café on our walk, but it was a relatively short day. Happy to get café con leche and a small cake. And a mini croissant that reminded me of my mom’s butterhorns (crescent rolls) that she made for every holiday for over 60 years.

We made it to the very small town of Baamonde shortly after 12:00, found a café, and met a father and daughter, Sean and Erin, from Ireland who are doing the final stages of the Camino del Norte (Vilalba to Santiago de Compostela). We had a delicious lunch at a restaurant called KM101, so named to represent the last 101 kilometers before arriving in Santiago. Our hostel is literally at a truck stop, so I may need to find the earplugs for tonight.

My mother has been constantly on my mind since we started our Camino. She died less than a week before we left for Spain. I flew to Europe the day after her funeral, and I’m having a pretty rough time, not being with my family in NJ. It sounds odd, but because my Mom isn’t with us in life, I feel that she and my Dad are with us in spirit on this Camino.

So far, here are some of our experiences that make me believe that my parents are walking with us:

  1. A strong breeze that helped to “push” me up a huge hill (see Car Trip to Boise story below)
  2. Randomly meeting a lovely Irish gentleman (Garrett) who we met in 2017 on a different Camino route (previous blog Portugalete to Castro-Urdiales… my Dad is of Irish descent)
  3. Meeting Tom, an 83-year-old man from Maine who’d never been to Spain and never liked to hike, who started walking Caminos after his wife died… and he was sure that he saw her walking ahead of him
  4. Ordering a glass of red wine, only to find that it had been refrigerated (drove us crazy ~ my Mom always refrigerated red wine, even if it hadn’t been opened!)
  5. Rain in the forecast every day for the past 11 days, but it hasn’t amounted to anything (see My Mom the Weather Whisperer story below)
  6. A whole basked of butterhorns (mini croissants) in a café (my Mom was famous for her butterhorns, and we have hilarious stories about her “teaching” us how to make them)
  7. If I meet anyone from Lithuania on this trip, I’ll probably burst into tears

Car Trip to Boise:
When I was a teenager my Dad decided that he’d drive his 4 daughters and his wife (my Mom) from NJ to Boise ID to meet his Basque cousins. We all still have a touch of PTSD from that trip. But meeting our Arano family, first in Boise, and then in Spain, has been an amazing and ongoing blessing. I am beyond grateful to have rekindled relationships that started 50 years ago. One of the side trips that we took on that Boise vacation was a short hike down to the Snake River. We were kids; we loved the hike. The scenery was spectacular, and we were probably happy to get the hell out of the car. On the hike back up from the river, my Mom was struggling. “Push me up the hill, girls!” she said. And we did.

On the first few days of our Camino, it was very hot. There was very little wind. And there were hills. LOTS of hills. I remembered pushing my mother up the hill when I was 14, and I thought, “give me a push, Mom!” Moments later, a huge breeze came from behind. I swear, it helped me up the rest of the way.

My Mom the Weather Whisperer:
My parents bought a beach house on Long Beach Island around 1978. They entertained a lot, and sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate. I’d tell my Mom that rain was in the forecast on weekends when they were having an outdoor barbecue or some other epic event (pig roast, Bouillabaisse extravaganza, etc.). My mother would announce, “there will be NO rain!” Even if was raining all along the Jersey shore, sure enough, it didn’t rain in Barnegat Light, at least not during the parties.

When Mike and I looked at the weather forecast for the past 11 days on the Camino, we assumed that we’d have to deal with non-stop rain. We were prepared, with backpack covers, rain jackets, and ponchos. We did have a little bit of rain on 4 days, but really not a lot. Quite different from our Camino in 2017, when we had more rainy days (and mud!) than dry ones. I just feel like my Mom is blowing those rain clouds away from us. Come to think of it, it HAS been a bit windy!

Tomorrow will be a shorter day (only about 9 miles unless we get lost) to another small town (Miraz). Looking forward to an easy day.

3 thoughts on “Camino del Norte Day 23

  1. I’ve loved reading of your adventures along the Camino as well as all the family touchstones — both from home and along your path — so many cousins I did not know existed! A true gift. This entry tugged at my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I can feel your Mom’s presence on your journey from here in NJ. She brought such joy and purpose to her life. Of course, she’d want to come along. xxxoxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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