Let's start off the trip right with a giant pizza, that I almost ate all of - 2 squares were leftover.
The first day on the pilgrimage walk to Talpa brought up old wounds about acceptance as I walked the 16.4 km (10 miles) west to La Villita carrying a 40 pound backpack. I am off to a great start. For details, read on!
This is actually my third day on this trip, but the first day that I am hitting the road. The first thing that happened is just after dawn on Sunday, right at the beginning, I walked to the town plaza and got out my magnifying glass, and it fell apart, broke, and the glass split into a few pieces, leaving exactly half in place. I still had half of it, so I continued on down the road. I had thought I needed to go alongside the Ameca river, but it turns out that I needed to find a street called Calle Allende. Once I found it, heading west, I started walking, and the first step on the road looked like the picture above.
As the day and walk progressed, what came up for me was some old wounding from my childhood - feelings of being unloved and unaccepted. I saw other pilgrims on the road and a couple of times I tried to engage them; but was ignored. At the first eatery hut on the side of the road, I was given the "outsider" price instead of the normal one and was shortchanged, despite them listing their normal prices on the sign outside!
Later in the early afternoon, I arrived in the town of La Villita and by this time, I was taking heavy and fatigued baby steps - the 40-ish pounds of backpack load was getting too much, and my legs were aching and sore. I spotted a couple of colorful umbrellas shading a taco stand on the side of the road; which was in turn in front of a farm. I approached and slowly stumbled into an empty chair, dumped my backpack onto the ground with a grunt; and collapsed into the chair.
There were several young men seated nearby and they made fun of me as I made my entrance described above. What a bunch of pandejos! I was angry because this brought me back once again to my childhood of being constantly being made fun of and only increasing my loneliness and feelings of rejection. I ignored them as I was equally fearful of expressing my anger at them and simply stewed. I asked the man at the taco stand if there was a place where I could rest. He escorted me to an area on the farm where I could rest, and offered the stay for the night at no charge. I gratefully accepted and set up my mini-camp with just my sleeping bag.
To give you an idea of how I set it up, I unpacked my sleeping bag, separating it from the compression sack, then set the sack down first to act as a buffer between floor and backpack. Then I set the backpack upside down with the part that lies against my back facing upwards. From there, I unrolled and set the sleeping bag down so the head is right against the bottom of the backpack, so that my head rests on the bottom of the pack, becoming an easy "pillow". My shoes would be on the side, with my socks, cellphone, wallet, magnifying glass (will refer to it as the lupa in the future), flashlight, and handkerchief inserted into the shoes for handy storage. I would then sleep with my outdoor hat perched loosely over my hat so the baseball style bill acts as my eye-shade; and I would wear my coat to keep warm while resting on top of the sleeping bag as opposed to being inside; for extra comfort. This is my mini-camp.
There was a white dog who got a little too friendly with me and during the night would first lick my arms to oblivion, then dry-hump my legs. Eventually I fended him off and got to sleep.
Map progress of Day 1 - 16.4 km!
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