Well. I'm going backwards. Had a slight set back yesterday & have had to rest up for a couple of days. Nothing serious, I know what caused it & how to prevent it from happening again, so I'm not worried. Ruined my favourite hiking shirt with stupid nose bleeds though so pretty peeved.
However, all things happen for a reason & this was a lesson I had to learn. I decided to head back to Pamplona just in case. The road back is so much harder, let me tell you. I got lost a couple of times, I don't know how though. When I got to the outskirts of Cizur Menor, I was starting to get worried, my nose was bleeding again & I stupidly started thinking the worst. I stopped this lady to ask directions (in my very poor Espanol). She only spoke French & Spanish, but we were able to communicate - sort of - with hand signals. Anyway she went one way, I went the other. About an hour later I stopped to have a breather (no smokes- did I tell you I've given up - no smokes since I arrived in Spain). I looked up & she was standing next to me again. I thought WTF did she come from, she was going the other way when I saw her last. I got up to start walking again and she walked with me. She had this weird calmness about her, just what I needed to rub off on me I suppose. From what I could gather, she was a Nun who had just returned from Rwanda where she had been for 8 years. She lived in a small religious community in Cizur Menor. She walked with me for about an hour, we didn't talk much because the language barrier. Finally we got to the outskirts of Pamplona & she left me there, giving me directions to the cathedral & albergue (sort of). She gave me a big hug & I went to give her some money because she had walked a long, long, long way out of her way to help me, but she refused, asking me to say a prayer for her (I think) & then she disappeared. The kindness of strangers hey!
Anyway, I got lost again & soon realised that asking people in Spanish towns for directions to the Iglesia (church) is a stupid idea, kinda like going to Cabra & asking for directions to a Vietnamese restaurant - which one do you want, there's millions. Finally I found my way, I was determined to pay this woman back some how.
Anyway, I'll make a long story shortish. This is really stupid but I'm convinced that Mum sent this nun to me. Aunty Marg, you'll probably be the only one who understands me here. This nun was just like Mum & even hugged like Mum. Mum has done that before, sent people to me I'm sure but the last time in Assisi was a bit of a disaster. I was having a bit of a hard time then too, and I met these monks, but sadly that didn't work out so well - one was an expat Aussie who hated Aussies and told me so. Then one of his fellow monks collapsed next to me and died as I tried to help him - that was f!'@$ed. I'll never forget that, but more importantly, I'll never forget the feeling of calmness I felt whilst all that happened. I was convinced at the the time that Mum kept me calm, and that there was something I had to learn from that but I've never been able to figure what. Anyway, it's all probably just coincidental, but I'll keep my little fantasy going in my mind for the time being, if it makes me feel better and is not going to give me some sort of hangover then it can't be all bad. So today my dedication is to that sweet French Nun. Song of the day would have to be 'Lost' by Coldplay, in honour of my very warped