I woke up with a worried head. I had slept in somebody elses tent. The camping owner had very kindly offered me his son's place since he wasn't there. A small tent, but still 4 times the size of mine. It was cold outside, but it promised to be a long hot day. I set off but before I had even started a dog bit me. The old man on the bench was as startled as I was. Luckily the dog was as old as the man was and his teeth weren't very sharp. We looked at the bruise. I made up with the dog. The man kissed my hand. I walked on.
Empty countryside. A tiny village. Coffee. Jazz music. The kitchen in the small cafe produced the most wonderful smells. Too early for lunch. Damn.
I thought of Jaynie. I didn't know her, but today I was walking with her. She hadn't given me any assignment, any thought to walk with and I was grateful for that today. A long walking day, a day in the middle, I could use some headclearing.
The kindness of strangers. I had met many already on this journey. And Jaynie is one of them.
The silence struck me as it had yesterday. I walked through woods mainly. At some point I remembered it was exactly 1 year ago that I made my first walk in a suit. Sideways, Brussels North. Everything changed after I walked there. I became a walking artist. A wanderer with a cause.
Vezelay. A place where many people start their journey to Santiago de Compostella. It was visible from afar. Which means climbing. So I climbed.
The square in front of the cathedral. I sat on a bench, took of my heavy bag. The weight always seems to double during the day.
I looked at the cathedral. The fancy tourists sitting at the terrasses around the square looked at me. Playing with the keys of their expensive cars.
I left. The campside was another 1,5 kilometer. I arrived. And a group of Germans from Tubingen invited me for diner. There was couscous and wine and two deserts to choose from. There would be breakfast for me the next morning too if I wanted.
The kindness of strangers.
It was already dark when I pitched my tent. I looked up. Gazed.