But back to the question of should you get a coffee?
The morning freneticism is catching, and after a night of unpleasant sleep highlighted by 2 hours of the cruelest “snoozing” I’ve ever experienced, I’m actually LESS likely to stop and get a coffee, even though I need it more. Why?
PEER PRESSURE. Yes, there is unbridled peer pressure on the Camino!
“I gotta get going! Get a move on!” I start thinking. “How many miles am I going to go today? And how fast? Can I get past 4k/hr today? I gotta get to town by six, right, for good measure, even though I can’t get dinner till 8 at the earliest and the sun doesn’t set till, like, tomorrow….”
Watching everybody run out at 5:30 am has me thinking I’m somehow “doing the Camino” wrong.
But maybe, just maybe I’m the only one who’s doing it right: getting up at 8am instead of 5:3, packing with calmness, enjoying a coffee at 9, taking in the morning to do a little writing, have a piece of toast, make small-talk with the locals at the cafe.
Walk leisurely, take photos, eat a long lunch with my feet in a stream.
This doesn’t look nearly as impressive on Twitter as 35K, and spending the day thinking of witty comebacks to the snide “You’re getting in late, aren’t you?” comments from other pilgrims (or simply avoiding them by paying 15 Euros to stay in a pension) is kind of lame.
But in the words of my dear Camino friend Phillipe, “We build our own Camino.” Right?
And so this is mine — I want to savor every moment, not rush to the destination.
How many mystics have told us, the journey IS the destination? For me, on this Camino, even more so. This is my reality: the journey.
And, as Rosemary, the friendly and charming Australian woman with grown children — and cancer — I’d met earlier in the journey said when I explained my style of doing the Camino: