Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

Home Tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11th


Today our plan was to take a taxi back to Zubriri and walk the 13.1 miles back to Pamplona we’d missed when we took a taxi to the hospital in Pamplona. I’d convinced Pat she was ready and strong enough to get back on the trail. I set my phone for 4:15am. A taxi was coming to drive us the 30 minutes it takes to get to Zubiri.

I woke just before my alarm and asked Pat what time it was. 4:25! We both lay in bed without talking. Pat then shared, “We need to talk.” She didn’t leave me guessing for long and said, “My Camino is over.” Pat cried. I cried. She said that she had pain in a front tooth and I know there is a bigger problem going because my teeth are moved out of alignment from their normal bite position, AND 4 teeth are numb!

I knew she was going home. There was nothing to say. No pep talks were indicated. This was serious. I felt awkward. The taxi was coming shortly. I had to pack up if I was going on without Pat. We talked, cried and hugged as I got ready to leave for the Camino alone. We’d talked about what the other would do if one of us could’ve go on. Each of us said we’d continue our walk alone. So I sadly left. Pat was going to see a dentist in Pamplona or back home.

I was scared. I was sad for myself and Pat. The taxi driver dropped me off by the old bridge. It was dark. After a quick pee behind a dumpster, I got on the Camino, south of the Arga River, heading west. My mind played games with me as I walked on the narrow, dark, brush lined trail past an industrial part of town, wondering if someone would jump out and rob me. I distracted myself by thinking about the cafe con leche I’d have about 3 miles up the trail at the very small town of Larrasoana. “Historic houses from the 15th and 16th century line the Main Street; some retain their coat of arms above the door.” The moon was still up and looking like the full moon it had been two days before. I started to get into a good hiking rhythm, reflecting on past backpacking times. I was back out in the country with the cutest little horses and new families of cows. I was on the tail again, feeling good.

It was getting a little lighter, I was up higher than I’d been and thought that maybe I should call Ray before he heard from someone else Pat was leaving the trail. Ray answered and I said’ “Pat is leaving the trail.” Ray then said, “So are you!” (That was so unlike Ray to say something like that.) I quickly and adamantly said that I was not leaving the Camino!” (I thought he meant that he didn’t want me doing the trail alone!) Ray said that something terrible had happened. I could not believe when Ray said that a dear family had died. Of course I was going home. My sister Ginny and her family were arriving in Palm Springs the next day. I wanted to be there. I was in shock and disbelief. I tried to gather my thoughts to get a plan of how I was going to tell Pat to wait for me as I was going home too. I had a Spanish SIM card in my phone but had never made a local call. I didn’t have the number of the NH Hotel, and I don’t speak Spanish well enough to trust I’d understand the operator. I called Ray and asked him to call an International operator. Ray doesn’t know how to do things like this but he tried. He needed the phone number of the Hotel he was told.

Ray eventually called Pat at our hotel, after looking up the hotel on the Internet!!!,telling her I’d find a way back to Pamplona and to not leave before I arrived. I didn’t know how I’d ever find a taxi when I got to the next tiny village. I walked the empty street one way and then the other way before knocking on the door of a Pension. A nice man called someone and told me a taxi would arrive in an hour after the driver dropped his kids off at school.

I reconnected with Pat, we took a taxi to the train station and are now on the train headed to Madrid to see about changing our tickets and getting on the first plane home.

I can’t wait to see my family.



20 Responses to “Home Tomorrow.”

  1. Katya says:

    Linda I’m so sorry to hear about your niece. I’m glad to know you and Pat are traveling together. I love you and I’m thinking of you.

  2. Angela says:

    So so sorry and I too am glad you and pat are together.
    Sending so much love

  3. Mary Kay says:

    Safe travels home. Thinking of you and your family. MK

  4. Judy says:

    Dear Linda, travel safely and please let us know however we can help. I’m so grateful that you and Pat are together on this leg of the trip. We are so sorry for your loss. XOXOX, Judy

  5. Somer says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing your journey with us; through thick and thin.

  6. Joanna Pfeiffer says:

    So sad & so sorry for the shocking loss of your Niece, safe travels lots of love to you!!

  7. Lucy Shaver says:

    So sorry this was not the time to do the entire trail…very sorry to hear of the death in the family…you and Pat have both had an incredible experience and may be ready to attack that trail another year. Sending love and some sadness your way.

    • Linda Jeffers says:

      Thanks Lucy. I haven’t been back to my blog until today and saw your comment and all the others. You are a loyal follower and supporter of me and all that goes on in my life. I appreciate you.

  8. LR says:

    Applause for your knowing so quickly that you were needed as support in another part of the world….the exact opposite of selfishness and self centeredness.
    Safe travels. Please give my condolences to Ginny and her family. Also I hope Pat recovers quickly and completely.

    • Linda Jeffers says:

      Thanks buddy. Finally recovering from having been on total empty. I will give your condolences to Ginny and her family. xxoo

  9. Tom says:

    Sad to hear of all your situations but God knows best I think will prayer for you and family Tom/ yvonne

  10. I know this took place some weeks ago, but I still want to say how sorry I am for you about the message you received from home. I have followed your camino through joy and hardship and believe it was a great experience even with the sad ending of it all. Wish you all the best (and of course I hope – and believe – that Pat got her tooth pain fixed, too).

    • Linda Jeffers says:

      Thank you for your comment. You are correct, it was a great experience even with the sad ending. Pat and I both agree we experienced and learned a lot and value the time we had on the Camino. I don’t think I’d go back and do the Camino Frances Pilgrimage however. It is extremely crowded at the start and there is a drive mentality to race to get to an Albergue or Hotel to assure getting a place to sleep at night that doesn’t feel quite right. Pat is healing well. The doctors believe when all the interior swelling goes down her teeth problems will correct themselves.

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