Finding the missing link from my 20s

I never went hostelling or backpacking in my 20s: and I feel that I missed out on something, more so I think when my daughter, who backpacked the world a couple of years ago, recounted her experience.

I know it would never be the same experience that my daughter had but I wanted to experience it once – not quite my bucket list but up there on things to do – and hostels seemed the way to go on the Camino, so a hostel it was!

I haven't slept in a bunk bed for ...oh, so many years!
I haven’t slept in a bunk bed for …oh, so many years!

3 bunk beds to a room:  we were shown to the ‘couples room’, and the first there so had the choice of beds and probably chose the least favourite with a low beam over the top bunk!

I felt flustered by all this; what were the plastic bags for on the bed?  At first glance, they looked like hospital shrouds but they were disposable mattress and bolster (pillow) covers.  My bolster slipped straight through and landed on the floor, not once but twice, much to my partner’s amusement!  Dressing the mattress, I managed to head-butt the top bunk, nearly knocking myself out; I certainly saw stars and the air was blue with a list of profanities (hope St James forgave me!)  My partner: still laughing but he rubbed my head in a show of sympathy!

Others soon joined us – all looking more disconcerted than me at the shared facilities.  I was with them!  What had I done?  At my age, when I am sure a room on our own with our own ensuite could surely be found nestling somewhere on this mountain? Somewhere? Somehow????

Strangely though an hour on the terrace overlooking the valley below, writing, taking in the views, being quiet and eating, of course (10€ for plat du jour – today, ham, eggs and fries, delicious!) began to ease my attack of anxiety!  That and the procession of wild pigs walking down the mountain road grubbing through the grass!

And queuing for the showers, chatting to the other ladies and solving the mystery of how to use the shower token together, suddenly it began to work for me.  It didn’t somehow feel quite so strange being full of food, clean and chatting.

And they came strolling down the mountain...
And they came strolling down the mountain…

But suddenly, I felt itching to be on foot again, to keep moving and yet I knew, this stage is about slowing down and it is the very reason I must sit still.