My good friend Laura has asked me to include total distance travelled and I totally understand the interest there as we have been wondering too. I have tracked gps for each day with my phone – but I havent added it up. It requires arithmetic which is sadly lacking. I will one day find the time to write these down and add them up (since invention of the calculator mental arithmetic has left the building). For now it is fair to say that From Ravanel we have 243 km to go (according to the Michelin guide book). This means we have walked 789 – 243km = 546km – yep thats right, my Irish feet have brought me over 546 km (because we backtrack and make mistakes we have definitely walked further than any guidebook would recommend). Brierleys guidebook says 789 in total – any camino genius out there with a better method is welcome to comment.
Now for todays post.
I dont think I’ve told you before but I have what can only be described as a Boost Juice persona. Yes thats right, a Boost Juice persona. Along with many other retailers that have caught onto this new wave marketing, they (boost juice) refuse point blank to give me a number when I order something – let’s not mention the fact that they lack true customer service skills and cannot recall who ordered anything without writing it down anyway. And, you may or may not know that the reason they always want your name so they can call down the shopping centre “Gail we have an extra large double chocolate banana shake with whipped cream for you!”
Well I play the game. I tell them I am Mary. There will be no accidently telling anyone I know I am in the shopping centre nor quite frankly will they tell everyone exactly what I have ordered. But why is this important on the Camino?
Well some days back at Belorado, when I was talking to the Englishman Dave (with the red ankles), I mentioned that Europeans had some difficulty with my name because it has two vowels together. He suggested I do what many Asians do and use an easy name. This reminded me of a haircut I had in Beijing some years ago where Mao si jung told me his name and then politely said “you can call me Raymond.” I could never forget that because a) It was my uncle’s name (God rest his soul) and b) Mao did not look like any Raymond I had met before.
Anyway the days passed and I finally decided to take the advice of dave with the red ankles and use my boost juice persona. Just for interest sake my aunty Mary was married to uncle Ray (although my aunt was the only one who ever called him Raymond). So I am actually keeping it all in the family. Dont think I’ve ever told my Aunty Mary these tales so hopefully she will have a little laugh when she hears them.
The first time I used my Boost Juice persona on the Camino was at Albergue Verde when, ironically, the masseuse was called Gael! After that incident I give my real name first and, whenever I see a person struggling with the two vowels, I miraculously become Mary – so there you go – my Boost juice persona is no longer a secret.
Today we left the hotel at around 8.30 because we had to have our bags downstairs at 8. We wandered off to find breakfast and I needed to replace the alcohol for the medicine kit before we left town. Eventually we wandered back past the hotel at 10.30am and our bags were still there. We decided not to call and see what was happening as they tell everyone 8 and pick them up along the way.
So today we stopped at one place in a lonely town where a nice spanish man sat with his banjo – he kindly played waltzing matilda. My beloved pulled out his harmonica and I ate an ice cream in the heat of the day.
It was a pleasant walk as far as 20km plus walks go but we arrived in Rabanal to discover our bags had not arrived. Ramon, the albergue manager called them and within half an hour a taxi arrived with our bags. We had a great room with a share bathroom. After dinner we sadly said goodbye to our American student friends, Morgan Morgan Chris and Tim and we hope to catch them again in Santiago.