Sunday, June 20, 2010


Mom and Mary, before you read this, I´ll call later and tell you about it too. I´m fine.

Yesterday was crazy. We stopped in Villalcazar because of the spread of towns after yesterday it would have either been a really long day today or a really short one. We like less walking on short days, but the afternoons/evenings go be so slow! So anyway, we stopped at this free hostel with a hospitalero named Jesus. He was very friendly and explained that he greets all pilgrims with a hug, and then he did. It was a good hug. He explained that mass is at 7 and a concert is at 7:30. Before that, everyone who wanted to, would meet at 6:25 to go to the store that opens at 6:30. So Noah and I walked around town to look for a phone. We saw a store so we grabbed a couple sodas to pass the time and hold us over till we made dinner. When we left the store, there were 2 drunk guys. One was so drunk he was throwing up right outside the store. Of course we looked. But we kept walking and I explained to Noah how stupid and irresponsible that is. The guy not throwing up must have caught on that we were talking about them and started yelling and following us. I wasn´t 100% sure, but I decided it would be better to just not look back and keep walking. But Noah looked back and got worried that he was coming for us. I told him we would just go to the hostel and find a phone later. Then the guy threw his cup at us (and missed by a bit), but then I turned around and said all I could think of (tactfully) in Spanish: ¨Por favor¨ and then kept walking. Then he ran up to us and hit me. I pushed him off and we kept going. Jesus heard the yelling and had seen him hit me and started talking to him. Then the guy ran at me again. This time I was pretty worried about Noah and Jesus getting caught up in it so when he came at me I grabbed onto him, grabbed his leg and dropped him to the ground. Someone started breaking us up, so I got up, but he ran at me again. This time someone managed to restrain him (I think it was his friend). But he managed to get several hits off on me before it was all over. He also grabbed my chain at one point and I held onto it because I didn´t want to lose my St. James medal (esp. not on this trip), but I did. I also cut my hand a little from that.

Anyway, someone called the cops and the guys drove off. But one of the other pilgrims got his plate number. Jesus gave me an ice pack for my face. I sat and waited for the cops to come. Some lady who spoke very good English gave me a pack of Kleenex for my hand and some antibacterial stuff and had a Kit Kat bar for Noah and said ¨Here, take a break.¨ I said, ¨You must be a Mom, you´re ready for everything¨ ... she is. Then she apologized and said they are like rednecks. I laughed because I´ve been called a redneck before. A lot of people apologized and wanted me to be sure that I knew that they were not typical of Spain. I told them I was fine and very happy here and that we have stupid people in America too.

The cops came, the pilgrim who got the plate number, Jesus and the lady from the store all gave testimonials. Then I tried my best to explain it to the police in Spanish and free-lance sign language. He didn´t take any notes except my name and age. I guess it wasn´t that good. haha.

Then the cops insisted on taking me to the doctor in the next town. So I went and we determined what I already knew ... put ice on it. But I had him look at my leg too. He said its tendinitis. That was a relief to know. I´m not sure how serious that is, but I´ve heard of it and I´ve never heard of it killing anyone. So I figure I´m ok. He asked if I have any pain meds and I told him ibuprofen and he said good, take 3 after breakfast each day. I think my body relaxed at that and now my left leg is a little sore today. We´ll see how that goes. I´m pretty sure new shoes are going to make a world of a difference.

Then we went to the police station. They explained that I could sue for money but I´d have to come back to Spain for court. I opted out of that. They said they will press charges themselves.

Everyone was very nice and helpful. We got back in time for mass. There was also a wedding. We missed the concert to look for food, but the store was closed by then. So we went to the bar to eat and watch the game.

Today was LONG. We had 5 km to the next town (where the doctor and police station were), but 17 km to the next one. We bought sandwich stuff at the first town and took a break at a picnic table around 12:30 then finished the day.

One of the bumps on my head.

We are seeing more and more pilgrim statues like this. So, we like to take pics with them.

Another. The weird thing is that they all face the wrong direction (away from Santiago).

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