Lourenza to Abadin
Distance: 16 miles (25.8 kilometers)
Total Ascent: 740 meters
Calories Burned: 4,088
On one of our earliest days of our Camino, when we met our favorite Canadians, Joslin, Roland and Nicole, we heard a saying that has been repeated so many times (and each time it is followed by snickering and giggles):
“Yare doing the Camino…with your spouse…for your honeymoon?! Well, if you can survive this, you can survive anything!”
For the longest time, Andrew and I would roll our eyes, thinking, “Why do people keep saying this? We’ve totally got this. I mean, you are my favorite person, after all.”
But now, on Day 27, we finally get it.
Nevermind the fact that romance does not exist on the Camino. I mean, we sweat for 10 hours a day, farting and burping all day long from the bumpy terrain and all the bread (they serve us whole loaves for breakfast, lunch and dinner). We then talk about said farts and burps in ad nauseum, when the day gets dull and tired. We (i.e. me) complain about body aches and pains all day, or the awful weather, or how expensive this nasty hotel is with black hair in the bathtub (“I swear, I am going to write a negative review on Booking.com about this!”). For these and so many other reasons, we just don’t feel sexy at the end of the day.
So we snuggle into our separate twin beds (we do try to push them together so we can touch the other person while sleeping), log into Facebook, write/read, and enjoy the quiet at the end of the day.
And then, to add insult to injury, I have been a certified lunatic for the past two days. Since going off of birth control for the first time in 20 years, I am dealing with my real estrogen cycle. While I love being “natural” and all, I had no idea that this would include severe mood swings, feeling hurt and disrespected over running 11 minutes late when leaving our hotel in the morning, and feeling as if Andrew was purposely trying to hurt me when he pulled his cell phone out at breakfast to read the Sunday morning New York Times. I have been crying, using profane language, and checking nearly every other box on the hot/crazy matrix this week, and Andrew has got to be dizzy from the drama.
We have snapped at each other, rolled our eyes, stomped around in a huff, and felt nearly every frustration in the book (however, it should be noted that we made an agreement early on not to walk away when upset, and we have stuck with it).
Sound like a honeymoon? Maybe not. But it does sound like life.
I spoke to my mom today for a long time, while hiking alone after one of our morning fustrations, and she said (quite lovingly), “This just doesn’t seem like your thing.” And you know what, she is right. This isn’t my thing. Hiking in the elements for 30+ days with bugs, little to no rest and few of the frills of life. I’m not really digging it.
But what better way to learn how I will react to stress? To trouble? To late nights with our babies? To a lay off? To the death of a loved one? We are seeing each other at our worst right now. And I have to be honest. Andrew’s worst is pretty damned amazing.
I’m so happy and honored to have this experience with my beloved. To show him the darker sides of me in a place where we can’t run away. We can’t hide. We can only walk. And fart. And burp.