That night at Villamayor I announced to Stefan and Trevor my plan: my wife would be in Copenhagen to give a speech on the upcoming weekend and I would surprise her there. That meant I’d need to leave the camino for 3-4 days and make my way to Copenhagen. I determined that I’d make reservations at my next big-city stop, but as I described the plan to other pilgrims I began to understand the true cost of it. Yes, all the pilgrim women agreed it was very romantic to surprise my wife. But others realized that the detour would put me 3-4 days behind the friends I’d made. I’d already said goodbye to the faster American girls. Soon I would be saying good bye to my current crop of friends, Stefan and Trevor being at the top of the list.
After Villamayor I walked on and off with the two South Africans, coming to Los Arcos on my own. And who should be sitting at a cafe near the church but Stefan and Trevor? Along with them were other friends from Villamayor — a Spanish woman, two Scottish women, and Daniel of Ireland. We shared a long, early lunch together as I heard the sad news that Trevor’s tendonitis was making his walking very difficult. It was unclear whether or not he’d be able to continue and Stefan asked me privately what I thought he should do. As I said good bye to Trevor and continued on I wasn’t sure I’d ever see him again. Ultimately Trevor shadowed Stefan by bus, but then after several days flew back to South Africa.
I arrived at Torres del Rio on my own as Stefan held back to care for Trevor. Just after Torres I heard an odd sound ahead and soon was nearly overwhelmed by a vast flock of sheep and, amid them, a small sprinkling of goats. A solitary shepherd kept the sheep together and they all seemed content as they moved from one pasture, across the camino trail, to another one somewhere nearby.
I stayed briefly to write in my journal at a lookout high above the town of Viana, then picked my way downhill, found the municipal albergue with its 3-high bunks, and looked for a place for dinner. I dined with a man from the Canary Islands whom I’d met a few days before. Then I headed back to the albergue for a night’s sleep in the top level of the triple-level bunks.