Many years ago, Tom Hanks made a film in which he was cast away on an island for a very long time and as a result of his long isolation, he made friends with a volleyball and called it “Wilson”.
He became very upset when something happened to “Wilson” (no spoilers) and I remember being quite struck by the level of emotional attachment being displayed to what was quite clearly an inanimate object.
I couldn’t quite conceive of a similar set of circumstances when I might be quite as upset.
That was until Right Hand Water Bottle took a tumble off my bunk bed this morning and it’s snap open top became permanently snapped open.
It was another surprisingly difficult moment – I guess I’ve become really rather attached to all my kit and while I’ve managed to avoid full anthropomorphism and start giving them names like Ricky Rucksack and Walter Water Bottle, RHWB’s apparent demise made me feel quite sad.
I’m told there is a tradition of sorts where Peregrinos burn their clothes or their shoes or something like that once they make it to Santiago or to Finisterre.
This seems terribly ungrateful, if not downright rude, to the kit that has carried you the better part of 500 miles – if anything, a Perspex box and a brass nameplate seems much more appropriate.
The idea of leaving behind any of the bits and pieces that have carried me this far is utterly unfathomable to me.
RHWB is now somewhat disabled, but I will carry it for the remainder of this journey.
Anything less would be simply not the done thing.
“Wilson” would approve.
Today’s stretch saw me leave León behind while chatting to Wolfgang and Felix of Germany, which took rather longer than I wanted – the cityscape is quite tedious to me now and I couldn’t wait to reach the relative calm of the rich red high farmland immediately outside it.
It was another pleasant day of stomping across Spain in all its autumnal glory and I could have gone a little bit closer to Astorga, but the sight of the latest distance marker brought me up short.
It’s now less than 300km to get to Santiago de Compostela.
It’s like reading a great book and knowing the end is approaching – and you slow down your pace in order to savour the latter stages of that journey.
RHWB knows what I mean.
So does Duane who I happily bumped into on the way to the pub.
Albergue San Antonio de Padua, Villar de Mazarife
Gorgeous gardens draw you in, a spacious bunkbed dormitory satisfies basic needs, but the three course dinner is absolutely amazing (vegetarian, again!)
Blisters: 0 (9)
Left Shoulder was a pain today, but it might be that I packed Ricky Rucksack slightly differently this morning while grieving over RHWB’s injuries.
Trips, Slips and Falls: 0 (3)
Applications of Factor 50: 3 (86)
Filling of Water Bottles: 1 (43)
Wrong turns taken: 0 (3)
Number of times “Buen Camino” was said: About 20, as I took the scenic route.
Ironic Song Repeatedly Played By My Brain: Every Day Is A Winding Road, by Sheryl Crow