Camino Day 18 (Lauzert to Moissac) 27K

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We set out late in the morning (for Camino walkers anyway!). The sun was golden, perfectly glinting off all the sandstone buildings in Lauzert. We got slightly lost in the square blocks that make up Lauzert, but quickly found the way again and made our way out of the town. Although today would be a long walk, the route was virtually flat.

The Magician and I walked separate again this day. Although it was slightly easier for me this day. I found that I spent most of the day just listening to music and singing. I walked down the winding roads and sang at the top of my voice with a skip in my step. Every time I saw other people I stopped singing though, worried that I didn’t sounds good, I would be annoying them. And then I’d stop, ask myself why? Singing is beautiful, its an expression of joy. I’d then try to sing again, but always found my confidence had waned and I’d purposely slow down so they wouldn’t have to hear me.

On the Camino you’ll find yourself involved in either surface level conversations (general chit chat). But also a lot of deep conversations which can be exceptionally intense. Challenging who you are, your way in life to date. This can result in you needing to take time to digest the lessons that you are being given alone. Understand how they apply to you. Otherwise why would you go on the Camino? If you weren’t to take its lessons of the Camino into your every day life? To give you an idea of the intensity of this, the Catholic church gives a Camino guide to people that they can share with their Friends and Family back home. So they can understand what the trans-formative journey the way can be.

It was during these days I realised that there are two different types of walkers on the Camino. The ‘people on the walk’ and the ‘walkers’. People on the walk are people who are trying to achieve a distance, or complete the walk by a certain time. The walkers were very different. They were on the walk with questions that they were looking for answers on (or they didn’t even have the question yet). They were on the walk to observe themselves and to reflect on life. Its not to say that either approach is right or wrong. But that some people come on the walk to understand more about themselves and their purpose in life. Others are looking to challenge themselves physically or to enjoy a walk in Europe. I had a very hard realisation that up until when the Magician caught me again, I’d been seeing this walk as a physical challenge with goals and milestones. But in reality I’d left my job for a career break (to see if I can write), to work through my triggers which cause my obsessive compulsive eating disorder and I was still trying to understand who I was (after I’d compromised who I was in my marriage, to the point I lost the essence of me). Walking with the Magician, I slowly began to live as the French. We stopped for long lunches (with no time limit). Left late in the morning, walking till we wanted to stop, and stopped to feel the world around us, to observe it changing (and us changing with it).

After stopping for lunch together we walked separately again, with me walking ahead and faster than the Magician. When I got to Mossiac though, my leg started to cause me a lot of pain. I was still on antibiotics from the dog bite and I was starting to feel the physical toil from the walk. The Magician and I spent a long time trying to find each other in Moissac (as I have an epic habit of getting lost and not knowing where I am). When I saw him, I felt like a small over excited child, butterflies running rampant through me, my broad grin running ear to ear. I tried to appear nonchalant, but all I wanted to do was ditch my bag, run up to him, jump on him, wrap my legs around his waist. The sun came out as we walked through the town and grabbed some Pasta to cook for dinner in the Convent (with a view out over Moissac). It was here we had the cooking disaster. I’d bought some Arrabiata herbs, thinking they’d give a really nice taste to the food. Well, they did… If you like chilli so hot you can’t feel your face. Snuggled in the large kitchen, it was filled with the warmth of the other Camino walkers. Who laughed hysterically at us, whilst offering us a share of their food. In the room this night the Magician translated back and forth for me and I practiced my broken Spanish. In this moment I felt the complete Camino family I’d not felt before. This was emphasised for me even more when I noticed some Australians who sat separate to the rest of the group. Staring intermittently at the laughter coming from all of us. I tried to get them to engage in the conversation, but they seemed awkward and uncomfortable in the raucous laughter. This made me sad as one of the beautiful things about Camino walkers, is its a GIANT family. You don’t see each other every day. But when you do, its like a giant family reunion.

This also highlighted something that has continually made me smile about the Magician. He never likes people to not feel included in a conversation. What I never told him, was that was one of the things that I always feared as a child. Being isolated, separate from what was going on. Being brought up in an English family, I was told proper manners were to be quiet, not speak unless spoken too. I would then isolate myself till I was engaged so I would be seen as a good girl, with good manners. And here he was, naturally never letting one of my great fears come to reality. This was one of the little reminders that made me feel at this time as if the Universe had a little list of what the perfect person to fit me was. And he’d been made just for me, placed here, at this perfect time, in this perfect place.

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I can come in many labels, many boxes, a divorcee, survivor, traveler, writer, optimist. But these labels only limit me to who I am at this point in time. But as you will read on my blog, I am my journey. I hope you will enjoy walking this path with me.

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