Walking on the Camino, day after day, you come across the same smelly thing. Over and over. On your shoes. Burning your eyes. Running down the hill. Welcome to the shitshow.
I am not criticizing. This is a hard working culture. They work the fields, they shear the sheep, they groom the horses and they herd the cattle. There are also donkeys, geese, dogs and cats roaming the countryside. But all these creatures poop. A lot. The towns we walked through today were particularly stinky. Whew. Rough.
The poo comes in all forms. There are splotches, splatters, smears, piles and puddles. They are mostly brown with some green hues. At times the poo is unavoidable. My shoes and socks are covered. You have to jump over it, scoot around it, navigate it and power through it. Your eyes water and you gag. Shit happens.
As far as people are concerned, many of you have been asking. Where do you pee? What do you do when nature calls? As far as peeing, men are definitely at an advantage here. They just go. Some don’t even bother to find a bush or shade. They just go ahead and pee. Right in front of you! Most of the time I’m sure it doesn’t even occur to them to be grateful for the good fortune of their anatomy.
For the women, it’s a trickier situation. We try to find a somewhat private spot. The next dilemma is, leave the backpack on or rip it off? Use paper or air dry? Sore knees? Squatting may not be a good idea.
Let’s face it. In Spain you don’t eat as many vegetables and you are eating a lot of bread and salty meats. You may, at times, be a little jealous of the cows. And that handsome Spanish guy you saw yesterday? Not so cute when you are the next to use the bathroom after him. I digress.
So? In conclusion, there can be some awkward moments. But I still stand by my body. I am amazed on a daily basis by what it can do, what it manages to deal with no matter what I throw at it. Or make it walk through. Or smell. My body asks me every single day, “Really? Now this shit?”
And then it sustains me yet again.
Here are a couple of my favorite shit related signs from the Camino: