Talking Grapes

How many does it take to do a selfie? In my case, two! I hold the iPhone, then Andrea, my new friend from Espania, pushes the shutter!

I’ve spent the last few days walking through the Rioja region of Spain, famous for its wine. That’s where I met Andrea, who is walking the Camino with her parents.

I am still unable to upload photos–evidently my iPhone photos are not compressed enough. If anyone can guide me through how to do this, I’d appreciate it. I have lots of great photos! 

While walking today I thought about the grapes that will soon be on the vines. What is it like to pick them? What do the pickers think about as they go down one ceaseless row after another? What is their life like? 

Today the guidebook said it would be through more “undulating hills.” What that really means is more steep hills. But I got an early start. It was hot, sunny and humid. My legs are getting as dark as the red clay I’m walking upon. 

I walked mostly alone today, although in increments with various people: an older couple from Oceanside, CA; a woman from South Africa who said, “Finally, I can speak English with you!” A family of four from Duluth–their two sons are in college, Ben and Joe. A man from Idaho and his struggling wife who kept repeating, “These guidebooks just lie,” as we went down another “undulating” hill.

And a woman from Germany who only wanted to ask me questions about what I did and so on, but when I asked her what she did, she said she didn’t want to talk about herself. So how can we have a conversation if it’s only one way, I asked her? She just rolled her eyes. I picked up the pace.

When I was walking alone I decided that each day I would take 15 minutes thinking only about one of my family. Today it was my grandson Charlie. In 15 minutes I rolled through the 12 years of his life. It’s hard to not think about Charlie without including Max because those two are thick. I wonder what Charlie will grow up to become? His family is moving to Chicago and I wonder how he’ll like it there. It’s an interesting exercise, this 15 minutes focused on just one person. I found that it was like looking through a box of photos of his life.

I’m in Santo Domingo de las Calzada  now. A stunning cathedral–wish I could upload photos!

Did 13 long miles today. About the same for tomorrow. No rain. Can’t believe how lucky I’ve been!

Don Qui-Joe-Te, grandfather of the Camino…


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