‘Let’s have lunch at the Indian. You can walk home from there,’ says Geo.
I never wanted to eat at Indian restaurants outside India, sole exception London.
But I’m glad I did. The food is extraordinary tasty, delicious and simply of the same level as in India, or London. We soon hear the Punjabi Sikh saying: ‘Life is for the moving, sir,’ and I can not agree more.
Off I am. 60 kilometer walking back home. That is, via the most straightforward roads. Without having done much planning, one of my better characteristics, I start walking in zigzag lines, via unnumbered tracks, agricultural paths, over impressive mountain flanks and sometimes over minor roads.
Existent paths take me to non-existent or once present pathways, often over forgotten hunter trails and unused shepherd courses.
I am always off roads where I would not be with a bicycle. Quite a relief. Spain offers marked tracks easy to follow, easy to lose either. Those tracks were used in early days when nearly everyone seemed to be a farmer, and worked small plots for his daily existence. Those tracks appear/disappear out of the blue.
First insight: just start and then figure out how.
I wondered for long: ‘how can I start walking through Spain and have enough food and water?’ I now reached a point of full frustration that those concerns had evaporated miraculously.
Walking sticks, a well fitting backpack, a working cellphone with Maps.Me and a battery pack helps.
The backpack is about 10 kilograms without water and food. My shoes are bringing me blisters and pain. The food intake is so little that it dawns on me I am always overeating.
Second insight: I can eat half the amount while being 90% more active!
Not that I am happy with my intake of bread and rubbery melted cheese and sugared peanut butter. But it dawns on me that we humans often eat out of habit. And since our choice is exceeding normality, the easiness our food comes by and the unrealistic prices, add the unnatural additives to make us eat (and consume) more; I simply over-eat by automatism.
A fact of walking or cycling through Spain, far enough off the coast, is that villages are many but shops little. Water is not a problem, every hamlet has a fount. Food is hard to come by. The big companies have kicked aside the small grocery stores. Everyone has a car and drives to the big town to resupply.
Fruit in summer is abundant, to pick from wild growing trees along the paths and abandoned groves.
Third insight: pork is better to be avoided!
I hardly ever ate pork since the movie ‘Babe’ came out. After that I was traveling mostly in Muslim countries. Eventually I became a vegetarian, then I stopped being one. But never the image of piglets left my mind’s eye, especially not after I was with two piglets in Paraguay for a full week. Pinky and her Brother.
I found a bar open and finally had something more than bread with peanut butter and melted cheese. I order two big sandwiches with beef. It turned out to be pork; I was sure after I had eaten half! I found it a disgusting thought. As I walked on, I thought about it: ‘Do I find it a disgusting thought because Geo is a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) of the Bible and pork forbidden? Is pork really that awful? Am I not serious in wanting to have what Geo has when I eat pork? Am I cheating? Would I eat this pork if I were not with Geo?’
I also thought: ‘Well, it is a fact that the meat of pigs is unhealthy. Maybe I should just eat these two sandwiches and not do it again. It is a shame to trow all that meat out.’ Pondering over why or why not kept on going for a few moments, then suddenly it hit me: ‘Because it is in the Bible, I should not eat it. That is enough reason. That is all the reason I need!’ I stopped and threw everything out!
My feet hurt. Reaching the bottle to drink means I need to get the backpack off my back. It is hot. I have not taken sufficient embroidery material with me to work with. The heavy DSLR camera is in my pack, disabling me to take photo’s. Yet I am sort of enjoying. It is not a full blown happiness.
But what is? Are we ever full blown happy for more than a few countable moments?
I can catch those moments. The ones with Geo. The ones when being creative. Where revelations seep in. When contentment is to be felt. When being in place, surrounded by silence and nature. But also when connecting with others.
It is not a revolting walk either. It is more of a savoring feeling of being away from all that I do not really need, all that I can do without.
I am active so I again can sleep like a rabbit in its deep dark hole.
Fourth insight: voluntary dependency makes weak.
On every little tour I went alone, I missed my husband. I would text or call him and start telling about my disfortunes. On your own there is not much benefit to complain but as soon as another person enters the stage, there is. The welfare now is that I might be ‘rescued’. But it did not happen! Thanks Geo…
It is restorative to be away from a house. To be away from society. To sleep above it. Opposite it. To watch the ant-like motility from far above.
Until the long steep downhill presents itself, toenail being blue already. Blister skin bubbling with expectations.
Fifth insight: an elfin escapism is mostly rewarding!
I am revived. Renewed. Not drained as I could be when being too long dragging on with the bicycle or being in the house too long. I am experiencing happiness after the walk, maybe more than on it?
I have been reset!
P.S. Next walk will be with other shoes, another camera set up, more embroidery material, different food and homemade snacks.