Moya had become concerned about some blisters that had developed on her feet. Over lunch, she decided she would take a taxi to the next albergue. She also took Jo Anne’s and my packs with her in the cab, so for the next 10 kilometres we could walk pack free. It felt marvelous and we practically flew along the trail.
Stefan, our police officer friend from Germany, joined us on this leg of the walk. The three of us decided to create a story to tell Moya when we met up with her again. We went over the details of our tale, making sure we all three agreed upon the ‘facts’.
Over drinks at the albergue, we started spinning the story. It went like this:
We were leaving Itero where we’d had lunch and were just passing by the local church which, like most other churches in this area, had a stork’s nest sitting atop its belltower. We were admiring the nest and its inhabitants when, all of a sudden, something came barrelling down towards us. It was a baby stork that had fallen from its home.
Stefan, the quick thinking police officer that he is, caught the bird in his sunhat (at this point in the telling Moya’s eyes were as big as saucers). The bird was unharmed but now we had to figure out a way of getting it back to its nest. The three of us told the elaborate tale of how we’d sought out the local priest who helped Stefan return the bird, who – by the way – we had named Moya.
That in itself might have been a believable story, especially since I had little soft feathers (down from my sleeping bag) to prove it. But then Stefan got carried away with the telling and embellished with this next bit:
While he was returning the bird to its nest the father stork came with a frog in its mouth. Stefan, who saw that the frog was still alive, grabbed it from the stork’s mouth so it too could live to see another day. STEFAN, REALLY? WHERE DID THAT COME FROM??
Well, that proved to be too much for Moya to believe. Stefan insisted he had photos (which for some reason or other he always found some excuse not to show Moya) and I put on a show about being hurt that Moya didn’t believe us. It wasn’t until we were in Santiago that we did finally admit to Moya that the tale had been purely fiction. But it certainly provided us with a great source of entertainment on that day on the meseta.