Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Boy Named Su

Day 6-Los Acros-Logrono
8 hours 55 minutes-27.8 km
We walked through wonderful natural paths, again through endless vineyards, always surrounded with gorgeous views.
The sunrise today was spectacular. We only had one long steep climb and a very steep descent.
There was a fiesta in the town of Viana with religious processions, bands and a traditional running of the bulls.
We had our lunch at a sidewalk cafe and watched some of the festivities, but opted not to stay for the running of the bulls, which would have put us 2 hours behind schedule on an already very long day.
Today I walked with a heavy heart and a heavy backpack during most of the morning.
Knowing that today was Sunday, and that everything would be closed, and also that on this stage of the journey there are very few fountains to fill our bottles; we had to carry our food for the day and extra water. When you are already carrying 15 to 20 pounds on your back, every added ounce is a burden. You learn to choose you food not by how enjoyable it will be to eat, but by how much it weighs and how much energy it will supply.
I can still feel the extra weight I carried in my sore shoulders tonight.
We have made friends with many on the Camino, but none so much as a group of 5 or 6 young Koreans. They all just met each other on the Camino and became quick friends.
We always stay at the same hostal each night and we spend time together either walking or sharing food and stories.
I told them my sister-in-law is Korean and the like that we love Korean food.
The photo above is(left to right) Pom, myself, Young, and Su.
Su always asks how my day went with my bad knee. He has some special Korean patches that look like big square bandaids that he uses for pain in his neck. He has been offering them to me for my knee, saying they take the pain away like magic. I thank him and tell him I will tough it out with my knee brace.
Yesterday was to be Pom's last day of walking with us, as he must return to Korea for his job.
This morning when we got up Pom had decided to walk part of just one more day and stay in Vianna, the town before our already planned stop. And of course his new young Korean friends decided also to make the early stop to spend the day and evening with him. That would put us several hours in front of them and almost certain we won't see each other again.
So it was all hugs and kisses and goodbyes. We took lots of photos and exchanged email addresses.
Just as I was leaving to start my walk Su told me," Because I won't see you again, I want to give you a gift, but this is all I have" And he gave me a package of his Korean "magic" patches.
It was a small thing, I know, but the gesture as well as the moment and the way it was given was so precious. I think I cried off and on for the first few hours, knowing how much I would miss my new friends.
I wish you peace, love, and laughter

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Even though you were sad to say goodbye, how wonderful is it that you could bond so quickly?

  2. You are having a wonderful experience Rita... My g/daughter(20)spoke today of wishing to visit Spain...I was excited to tell her of following you on your El Camino de Santiago you were in my thoughts today!
    Take care!

  3. Hi Mom, your post came so late, I figured you were taking sundays off from blogging. I see now that you had an extremely long day. I am amazed that you guys can walk so far. I like the story about your Korean friends. Stay hydrated, and make sure dad does too. You look great!! See you soon. Heidi

  4. Even though it is sad Rita, be thankful that you met them all to start out with. AND--who knows--you all may meet again sometime. God puts so many wonderful people in our lives --and for that, we should be thankful for the time we have with them.

    Other than carrying your extra water/food and missing your friends, it sounds as if today was a good day, Rita. Tomorrow --you will probably meet some more new friends...And more on another day.

    I'm SO proud of you--and thank you for taking us with you on your endeavor. I'd use those knee patches if the pain gets too bad. Bet they work!!!!!

  5. Hi Auntie Rita,
    So far you have met two angels- Santiago and Su.
    My Mom and Dad came over to read the whole blog tonight. Mom knew about the patches. I'm glad you have those magic patches just in case you need them.

  6. Hi auntie Rita, Just read your blog from yesterday, the stories I have read are touching. It sounds like you are having a great time. I hope the patches you received will help your knee, I'm sure they will. Tell uncle Ronnie I said hello. Keep up the great writing as it is enjoyable to read. Talk to you soon.
    Love Michael!!

  7. Hi Rita, I'm catching up with you after the weekend - you just keep on going like the energizer bunny! These friends you've made will have a special place in your heart. My daughter and my daughter-in-law are Korean.