Are you wondering what I am up to today? I awoke before the alarm from a dream about chasing pigs off Maryhelen Peterson ‘s porch. After a luxurious hot shower I headed to the bus station for tranporttation to a place where I would still need to walk 18 km. Just by chance the information office was open at that early hour. I asked there and found an afternoon bus to the exact location I needed. (Or so I thought). Now what to do with my time! I went to a bar where I was served a cafe con leche grande, a small honey covered croissant and a shot of OJ. It cost 1 Euro! !!! I walked about 4 blocks from the bus station to the Camino…About 10:30 who should I see but Carol Lundeen and Ann on a fast pace to the Catherdral. There was a quick exchange of greetings and well wishes and we promised to meet up Friday. Now I wait for a bus!. Ease dropping on the women sitting behind me I heard a variety of American accents. Southern, Western, Minnesotan. I inquired if they were headed home. As we talked I checked out their hiking boots. The condition of one’s boots tell a lot. These boots looked in good shape, almost new. The woman nearest me explained they had met up in Lisbon for a reunion of Peace Corps workers and decided to walk a little on the Portuguese route. The conversation was cut short by their bus arriving. One thing for sure, they had enjoyed shopping. They juggled several bags along with their packs. I longed for some non pilgrim clothes..
The bus driver nodded yes when I showed him the name of the town where I thought I needed to be….I had written it on my hand for lack of paper. I sat right in the front so I could see the countryside and get off at the proper place. It s very nice of the Spanish to have a sign to identify the town when you enter and exit. I did not recognize any of these names.
The bus carried workers and people who had been grocery shopping. No other pilgrim looking person was on board. One woman had 10 plastic grocery bags of items she had selected from the store. The ride became quite curvy as we wound our way through river valleys and over passes, occasionally stopping alongside the highway when someone flagged the bus down, or pulled the cord to tell the driver they wanted to get off. Soon the bus was empty of all passengers except me. The driver glanced at me with twinkly eyes and a grin and cranked up the radio. We boogied along as if the big bus was actually a sports car. He slowed and stopped near the entrance of a town. “Vimezeo” he said. That sounded Italian. Was this the wrong Bus? If so it was really really wrong. I had to trust. Two women sat in the small park near the bus stop. I showed them the address of The Little Fox House, thinking I was in the correct town. They shook their heads and gestured “far far away”. Ahah! I asked if a taxi was necessary and the older woman nodded yes. Across the street someone’s grandmother was standing in a doorway. She stared gesturing to me. And as I understood it she was telling me ” go down this street and take the first right .” I followed her gestured directions and I entered a bar. It made perfect sense to find the taxi driver in a bar. Yikes! Actually It was siesta time the mentoring nearby hung out and the women went home to prepare lunch for the children . I walked in the bar in full pack with my walking sticks. I must admit I was confused when all the men looked at my boots. We’re the checking to see how many miles. I walked? We’re they embarrassed for me? “Taxi?” I asked sheepishly. “Is there a taxi driver here?” The bartender came around the corner just then and told me to go back to the bus stop where the taxis were parked. He assured me that a driver would be along soon. I walked out the door and back up the street. I gave the grandmotherly woman across the street a thumbs up and she smiled. Soon enough a man appeared at the taxi stand. While he was taking the sun visor off the windshield I tried to ask in Spanish but I could not think or the word for “fox” and all I could think of was Casa de Ratone. “Casa de Tracey Saunders?” I asked. In perfect English he responded “The Little Fox House”. “Yes. Across from the white church”. “Of course” he responded and off we went to a tiny hamlet about 7 km away. After a short drive I arrived! Arriving where you are supposed to arrive is a good feeling. It was especially nice to arrive at this place.