Today was an epically exciting day! Today we got to go to the free wine fountain!!! Yes, that’s right. On the Camino there is a free wine fountain (Fuente de Vino), and the official French opinion from the Magician is ‘Its not that bad for free wine’. So to every other person, that means ‘That’s good wine’.
This legend of the Camino starts with the Monasterio de Santa Maria la Real de Irache (which is where the Fuente de Vino is). This religious institute is one of the oldest known ones in the Navarra region, dating back to 958, when the Benedictine monks built the monastery. Now they only have a certain amount of free wine there a day so we made sure we got here nice and early. Needless to say, at 10-30am I was a bit drunk and danced happily down the street. Much to the Magician’s disgust with me. He he he!
We walked a lot of the morning with someone whom I’ll call my brother moving forward. A few times in life you meet people you have an instant connection too. The conversations you can have with each other, are instantly open about your darkest secrets, and provide growth to both of you. Although he is almost 15 years younger than me, he has a wisdom beyond his years.
I wanted to understand my brothers thoughts on open relationships. I wanted to understand if he really thought it possible to have a relationship like that without negative emotions. I have spent my entire life being monogamous. But as I’d mentioned earlier, the Magician had a different view on how he saw our future together. What he saw in the future was an open relationship. As time had started to pass, this felt linked to his idea of freedom. Being free to love. But for me it felt wrong, uncomfortable, unnatural. When I’ve read magazine stories about this, or anecdotal stories, everything pointed to how this either destroyed the relationship (because of negative emotions i.e. envy, jealousy). Or the relationship over time meant the man always slept with multiple people and the women over time stopped. To me, it felt like a way to legitimise cheating on your partner. But having listened to my brother’s views on relationships and love over the last few days I was beginning to wonder if I was just being closed minded and/or judgmental.
Talking to him helped me to understand more, that there are different types of freedom and love in relationships in the world. The concept of a open relationship to him is that if your partner has multiple loves in their life, there is more love. And this then only brings you more love in life as well. Listening to his words, his thoughts, I felt the truth of it. But I still felt as if I was looking at a foreign alien. That someone could be that free of jealousy, envy, fear, that they would know their lover was with someone else? And be ok with it? But for the first time I started to understand that this is one definition of love in a relationship. That relationships come in all shapes and sizes. And as long as the people in that couple agree respectfully on what they want. Then isn’t that actually whats most important?
In the afternoon we walked through the large town of Los Arcos, with the Church, called the Iglesia de Santa Maria. This has the typical Roman and Gothic themes you see in a lot of the Churches on the Camino. Staying here allowed for one of our continuous coffee stops. Mainly as I refuse to pee in the woods, so I needed to find a toilet (which is easiest to find in the café’s in Spain). This always makes everyone laugh at me, as I must be the only one walking on the Camino that avoids doing this completely.
Later in the afternoon we started walking through dusty open roads. The Mesata is well known on the Camino as the desert. Although we weren’t there yet, but with the level of dust, I wondered if we’d already reached it. I walked with my brother and the Magician in front of me a lot of the time this afternoon. It felt good to be in my own thoughts, which as an extrovert is something unusual for me.
In Torres del Rio there is the Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro, which is rumored to have some links to the Templar knights. Anything to do with the Templar knights gets me thinking of mystical exciting things. However they weren’t really that mystical at all. They were for all intents and purposes a religious army of the Catholic church. The town is actually pretty small and there’s virtually no where to eat. The Magician and I saw some of the snobbery that can come at the restaurants, which is that they won’t feed you, unless you’re staying as a guest in their Albergue. So we ended up on a dinner of biscuits and crisps. During the Camino Frances I’d heard that the food can be very bad. And if you’re trying to start eating less meat, you end up living on a diet of Tortilla’s (which is essentially a cold potato and egg omelette). And this gets pretty tiring after a while to be honest!