(Note: This should have been posted October 5 but in spite of repeated trys at the time, it didn’t work. Now at home on an actual computer I will post it late. I have made references to this posting before which might be made clearer now after you read it.)
We met Jaime in a small abergue over the table after a communal meal. It was clear that Jaime was a special person. The hospitaleros obviously knew him and respected him. He had been a guest in this albergue several times before for Jaime was walking his 10th Camino in 11 years. Jaime is 76 years old.Jaime began walking the Camino shortly after his surgery. He was discovered to have a brain tumor and he went to Germany where an Iranian surgeon (“…with a German passport,” Jaime assured us) removed it. He began walking to walk away from the tumor. His wife wasn’t able to walk but would drive from town to town along the Camino to join him. He walked every year except one when his wife was ill and he needed to care for her. His wife died and he continued to walk from the tumor and from his wife’s death.
Jaime was full of information about places to stay, places to eat, things to see, history, and much more. He was always helping people along the way. When anyone would thank him he would say, “Don’t say thanks. These are things friends do for each other and the Camino is all about friends.”We had the pleasure of walking with Jaime for several days and staying at albergues that he recommended. He preferred albergues with “heart” to those, perhaps, with more modern facilities. Jaime is Catalan from Barcelona and speaks Catalan, Spanish, French and pretty good English. When there was difficulty understanding something he and Per would talk in French to better understand each other.
We spent a lot of time talking with Jaime on the trail and over the table. He was full of life and laughter. We parted at Carrion de los Condes. Jaime needed to take a bus to jump ahead a few days of walking as he was meeting someone on a specific date. His bus didn’t leave until noon so he walked with us a couple hours as we left town. Then he turned back and we walked on. We had enjoyed the company of a good friend and “friends are what the Camino is all about.”Sent from my iPhone