Svetlana Bugorkova: Everyone chooses his life

Svetlana Bugorkova. Born in 1953, graduated from Leningrad mining Institute, worked in the Arctic geological expedition, and then the all-Russian research Institute of Geology and mineral resources of World ocean. And then, life is funny, in a Psychiatric hospital of St. Nicholas. Engineer. Pensioner. Podolzhayut to work in the hospital. Engaged in courses of Spanish.


Life, at times, treacherous. It would seem that all is going well: my daughter has grown and stands firmly on his feet. I'm still full of energy. Live and be happy.

But the joy was short — lived: in 2011 had a stroke. As a result of partial paresis of the legs. Spent two months in the hospital Yes in a sanatorium. Then a long process of recovery.

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To live with a lame leg is uncomfortable, but can only be boring. Work — home, home — work. And then the daughter said that is a pilgrim on the Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago) from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela. By yourself.

The first reaction is shock. Then I saw the movie "the Way", read "diary of a magician" by Paulo Coelho. Stuck in the Internet. Read everything I found about how he took the Path of our compatriots.

The idea of the Path stuck to the head. I thought and dreamt about him. So a year has passed. Lameness is not passed. Decided not to wait and got involved in the adventure.

Chose the Portuguese way from valença (Portugal) to Santiago de Compostela. A total of 120 kilometers. Prepared for almost a year. Was the route. I bought a backpack, shoes for trekking, jacket. Thank you daughter — the only person who supported me. Others — colleagues, friends, acquaintances, looked at me with doubt in her do you, "the girl," mind? With my case history and my age it should be in line for tests to sit.

But everyone chooses his life. Pre-bought a ticket to Porto. Collecting the backpack, carefully weighed t-shirts, sneakers and other necessary items. In the end, six pounds, 10% of my body weight. Everything you need. Sausage, stew, soups and porridge in sachets, tea, coffee, crackers, candy did not take. A change of underwear, couple of shirts, socks, shorts, hat, meds and blood pressure monitor.

And then there's spring fever — aching joints, anything heavier than a Cup-a spoon could not raise. But what to do? I bought a ticket, backpack is ready, cut "a La after the fever" made. Overall: was — not was, come what may. Que séra séra.

The hour has come "X". On the eve of the Moscow came a daughter, to accompany. Got a surprise for me in Santiago to meet me. Good that sounded. To imagine for a minute: I come to Santiago de Compostela area, Obradorio to the Cathedral and meet me my baby: "Hello, mother."

At the airport, unexpectedly, that from Dusseldorf to Stutgartt need to get the train. And between flights is only 4 hours. But there is no way back — decided I would take a look at it. My daughter said goodbye and, clutching in one hand, boarding pass in the other — thermometer (required in present life), I stepped into the unknown and where known, and here is why...

Then there was the journey on four trains on the roads of Germany without the slightest knowledge of the language. Helped by kind people: a young priest helped to buy tickets from a vending machine on the train, put in train and landed in the right place; some random woman told the train to the airport. The plane in Porto detained for unknown reasons. So everywhere I have time.

In Porto received the passport of the pilgrim credencial (credencil) in the Cathedral (Se Catedral), bought a ticket on the train to valença, drinking coffee (according to tradition the pilgrims) to the pompous Majestic café, walked through the favourite places of the beautiful city. I bought a wooden stick. Everything happened as if not with me, and like me aunt.

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Got to Valenca (Portugal) and immediately saw the first of the pilgrims who followed them came to my first albergue shelter Teotonio, settled. Bunk beds and boys-girls in the same room. In my life the first time. A lot of people. Slept well, snoring is not worried, though the man opposite was snoring like trumpets of Jericho.


In the morning went out on the porch trying to figure out what way to keep. Came piligrimy from Portugal, held out a ripe Apple. This was unexpected and very touching. Wished each other good luck. Ate an Apple, put on her backpack and followed the yellow arrows. From this moment the eyes quite opened all the way I was looking at the world with wide eyes and smiled happily.

Now everything depended on me. I've traveled alone to a tourist. Now, however, was a pilgrim. The road led uphill, through gates, through the sleeping old city. Occasionally come across people, hurrying about their morning business. Gradually reached the bridge over the river miño. On the other side already Spain. Specifically chose from the beginning of the Journey Valenca: I really wanted the legs to cross the border. Not to move, not to fly, namely, to move. The dream — crossed the border. Goodbye Portugal, Hello Spain. Successfully entered the town of Tui, found the Arlberg.

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The first transition was about 5 km, the warm-up. The first time was with a backpack, parts of the body behaved well, the joints don't hurt, neither man felt tired. Went into town, saw the Cathedral, ate dinner, bought a shell — a necessary attribute of a pilgrim.

Morning quickly came and went. As always — right and left arrows. The city was still asleep, it was not raining and the sun slowly rose. Asphalt road ended and then walked through the eucalyptus forest. The pilgrims caught up with and overtook a flock of flying students from Barcelona. Sahalos was very well and happy. In the woods the track ran into such a mud puddle it was scary to move, afraid to slip, fall and lie, weighed down by the backpack. But suddenly there were two German women my age, have a helping hand. Acquainted. Her to walk up to a cafe, where the pilgrims rested and had coffee-juice-beer. Drank coffee with milk, ate a huge delicious sandwich. On a long way in the industrial area, the sun was hot. At the entrance to Paringa (O Porriño) met the familiar Germans, offered to spend the night in the guest house. Had lunch, shared a bottle of wine and went into retirement.


The Germans left before dark. Had Breakfast in the company of Portuguese cyclists. And again a wonderful way of the sleeping city. Catching up with and overtaking the familiar and not so familiar to the pilgrims. Flew past like Swifts, cyclists, dressed in blue, then green, then yellow. A bit worried when I passed a party of 100 schoolchildren. Well, I think sleep me under the fence — all locations in Arlberg will take. But came to the Mos (Mos), where the plan was overnight. Checked in first. Sat by the open window, as the Mach out on the balcony, and by roll Bisignani (pilgrims on bicycles), followed by pilgrims riding on horses. People began to approach. Day rolled to a close.

Sat on the steps of the porch until dusk with a girl from Germany, Gabi. She carefully cradled my sore until the calluses of the feet and dreamy said her goal is Finistère. Settled early. Night almost killed Portuguese bisignano (cyclist). Sliding door in our room were not fixed, but simply separated the corridor from the side of the room, where was the dining room. On the other side of the door stood a table, along the table on the floor overnight bisignano. At night I went to the toilet and back asleep forgetting that we need "right and left", went right and ran into the fence. She began to fall. Scared: now "it" will fall on man and crush. Tried "it" to keep from whispering "help me, help me". On the other hand heard some of postanyvaniya. Feel "it" doesn't fall — the door into something rested. Verified. Everything seems to be OK. And quickly-quickly in his bed.


Woke up together and had Breakfast in the cafe opposite the Arlberg. Again the path. The road to the mountain, through the eucalyptus forest. Take a deep breath — and light is not enough. Walked alone and enjoyed the air, the silence, the forest.

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Met a Russian man Andrey, an experienced pilgrim, having passed not one Way. This was with three children: a girl 13 years of age and boys 11 and 9 years old. Mom — Spanish, live in India. Wished each other a good trip and they flew in the distance light.

Already close to Redondela someone asked in English. I am the guy with the girl. And she says something in Russian. Turned out to be Julia from Moscow and Igor from Voronezh, came from Porto. In Redondela had lunch together. The cafe was one, the owners are delicious and cheap, we were fed. Drank a bottle of wine.

The guys went ahead while I went in the Arlberg. There were many familiar people: 75-year-old German Joachim, Andrew children, a girl student from Porto. Looked town. The evening sitting and chatting with Andrew on the square in front of the Arlberg. Went to bed early. Say the girl who slept in the next bed: "How fortunate that you're next." «How?» — asks. "Yes, because snoring over the ear, no one will". Laughed.


Out "not emshi". As usual, caught up and overtook the young and not so young, met even a five year old piligrimy with dad. I was left alone. The early hours of loneliness the most beautiful: in front of the unknown, and adventure, and wonders. Quite small miracles, but my. Finally, in a roadside restaurant, had Breakfast. Became more fun. The road gradually turned into the woods, and in woods up and down. Sometimes listened to to Arcade, next to Arlberg.

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Room with two beds. Luxury! Had dinner in the village in the first restaurant. On the porch, three men were talking, one of them, a fat man with one tooth, sang bad voice. The women were already removed, but fed salad, paella, wine. One says, "Over there, outside, Antonio, he's from Seville, flamenco singing. Here's the music." The men came, the women told them that I was a pilgrim from Russia. Antonio immediately began to sing flamenco, improvising on the theme of the Camino, the owner brought dessert — a piece of birthday cake. It turned out, today is mother's Day.


My roommate went dark. I Packed a backpack. The owner undertook to bring him the following Arlberg in Pontevedra. Had Breakfast and went to light the way. Well that was without a backpack. Was very steep climbs in the forest. The sun is brighter and hotter. Ran quickly a small group of very elderly Englishmen with a backpack and water bottle. The tour will be five kilometers light, and then a bus.

Came to the Arlberg in Pontevedra. Arrived backpack. The Arlberg municipal, big, with 60 seats. More familiar. Had the first corn, now I'm a real pilgrim. Treated as taught by experienced people. Shared these knowledge with others suffering. Slept quietly, snoring delicately.

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I stayed in Pontevedra for one day. Slowly went to the hotel that booked the room. The day is free, but we wanted to go further. Spent the whole day walking in familiar places. The town is very cute. Met in a cafe with the pilgrims, Anna and Alexander from St. Petersburg. We sat and chatted. I went to dine than God sent. And God sent this time to rabbit with rice and vegetables. And wine. And wi-fi. Sat until dark. The day is over.

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Earlier, after the traditional croissant and coffee, went around the still sleeping city. The suburbs — vineyards — Les. Go. Suddenly in the woods, at the fork, curly is beautiful. I'm in the mood joking: "Hey! Couldn't have been me waiting for?»

"You," he says. — "Go, where all your gathered". Come closer, you can see, the restaurant mesón Don Pulpo, with tables on the street the pilgrims sit, eat, drink, waving at me. And the door hostess with a smile from ear to ear. Brings juice, bread, a huge plate of bacon and eggs, coffee. Suddenly, out four young girls. Fit, get. Speak in Russian. Ordered food, talked. Found out that one familiar girl on Facebook. That's such a small world :) the Hostess showed the direction of the Arlberg. The road uphill through the forest. Go up, up, up, no front or rear not the soul.

Go to the open space of the Church. A little further in the valley, a gray stone building with blue framed Windows, a blue door and a red cross on it. Albenga municipal de Barro. Located, cleaned up, washed, had dinner all together. After dinner, hospitalero cooked Kamada — national Galician drink: grape vodka, coffee beans, sugar, lemon peel — all in a copper basin set on fire with some magic words, which was entrusted to the very oldest, a pilgrim from Australia. Very beautifully lit. All that is left, hospitalero, poured on the stacks. And said goodbye to us. For Breakfast — everything is in the fridge — donativo, who put in an iron box. Night together was snoring.


Woke up very early, but many had already left. The remaining pilgrims gathered backpacks, ate Breakfast. Ate a piece of bread, washed down with juice and the arrows on. Caught up with the American pilgrims from California. So we went: I went forward, they. At the entrance to the stone bridge in Caldas de Reis, they were sitting in a cafe with a beer. Only I stepped on the bridge, there was applause. On the way to the Arlberg fit relaxed people offer to help carry the backpack. Refused with the words: "This is a Camino", in fact it seemed that if I stop, it will not budge. Reached. The Arlberg is approached by an elderly American and shook my hand: "Rus, super!". It was funny, but nice — Russian do not surrender. Rested, walked around the city, ate dinner. The owner of the cafe were treated to liquor — for a good sleep.


Woke up in an almost empty Arlberg. The Laundry is not yet dry, had on a backpack to hang. The sun was beating down mercilessly. The hand with the stick burned, it seemed, to the bone. Sunscreen was, but somewhere at the bottom of the backpack. Cool this morning and I forgot to lubricate the face and hands. Out of the woods, on a dirt road a police car. The officer asked if everything was okay, brought in the Ledger name, country of residence and where the beginning of the path. And wished a safe journey. In a village near Albenga, bought cherries. Half gave the Spanish pilgrim, by this time he was held 30 km away and Met with the Polish woman and her husband, a Czech couple from Prague. They spoke a little Russian. In the evening with had dinner in a restaurant nearby. Back in the dark.

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Had Breakfast by the same company, went further. The people ran forward I walked slowly, enjoying the solitude. At the gas station in a cafe I met a friend at valence pair: Luciano Spaniard and a German woman Susan. Both 40 years. Third Camino go together. It is already possible to think out and romantic story. Eye Susan will never forget the two big blue lake in which to drown. They, like me, were short segments, very smoothly, sometimes holding hands. Before Padron was quite a bit together and came.

The Arlberg near the Cathedral, in the center of town. A very interesting Cathedral. Padron is famous for its small sweet green peppers, which only grow in this area. Their feature — the farther from home, the less sweet peppers, the more bitter. Very tasty — baked, sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Bedroom in Albenga on the second floor, on the ground dining room and bedroom for wheelchair users. There are pilgrims. In the evening, if not, then inhabit normal. Drank tea with an Irish grandfather. I still have two transitions to Santiago. For the first time could not sleep, was overcome by thoughts.

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At 7.30 am has opened a café next to the Arlberg. And who said that the Spaniards do not like to work? Drinking coffee with Luciano and Susan. They also went to town, Theo, decided that maybe I'll meet you there. On the way I caught the guy who took out from your dining tables. Said, "Go, seal put." On the way to each Arlberg put in credencial print with date. It can be supplied in a café or restaurant, the police. This is proof that you really went all the way. In Santiago in the office of pilgrims at the base of the stamps issued a Compostela — the certificate of a perfect pilgrimage.

Went to the cafe, where the owner is a true fan of Camino — pictures of pilgrims, calendars, flags of different countries. Sealed, asked where I heard that from Russia began to show the Souvenirs from the Russian pilgrims, including a ten-dollar bill. I gave him 100 rubles, he forced me to sign it, begged for another hundred-ruble note instead gave 4 euros. Took a picture of my phone, on my phone, kissed the head and released with God.

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The most difficult stretch of road up to the Arlberg, the sun fries, my legs are heavy I want to fall. That's according to my calculations should be shown the Arlberg, but it is not. Thought I lost my way — the arrows disappeared. Almost desperate, but there were people, the Portuguese family together made. The Arlberg was in the side of the road. Somehow surprising for the Russian people: there is a house-gingerbread at some distance from the village. White, clean, with good plumbing, utensils, and appliances. Come and live. Hospitalero, came only in the evening, recorded it all, put the print in credenziali and two hours later gone.

Tomorrow was the last transition. Daughter was waiting for me in Santiago so I decided to send the backpack machine. There is such a service. The Portuguese called to supper, went to a roadside restaurant. Sat outside, ate, drank, talked. The sun is not very hot, light breeze. If I could imagine a few years ago that I'd be sitting in the Spanish provinces, with the Portuguese people, and to feel "at ease".


This morning was the last stage. In Santiago I was waiting for the daughter. Light, without a backpack and Breakfast. It seemed that I was running like crazy. Although the morning was gloomy and cool, sweating so much. So ran two or three ways, and finally, on the outskirts of town saw a bar. Here I ate the most delicious sandwich of my life and drank the most delicious milk coffee from big cups, and the most delicious fresh juice.

Saw myself in a large mirror — beauty: boots with high socks, knees shiny from the ointment, shorts, in every pocket phone, and the thighs seem powerful, face red from the sun, hair on end, look mad. Like herself and ran (as turtles run) on.

You'll see the city ahead, the road went zigzag: a forest, a transformer substation, road, path in forest, Railways, some slit between the houses, again the woods. Finally entered the city. For a long time wandered the streets, until he came to Alameda Park. And that already people with backpacks began to appear. So they came to the Obradoiro square. And meet me is my child. We hugged, I cried and laughed at the same time. The happiness of the absolute.

On the square the pilgrims sit, stand, lie, taking pictures, laughing. My backpack was already in the hotel room. The rest went to walk around the city.

Meet friends. Near the Cathedral sat a very elderly couple, age 80, of Australia, which spent the night in one of the Arlberg. Came over to say Hello. Grandfather jumped up and excitedly began to tell about their adventures: grandma became ill with a heart three days they spent in the hospital in Padrón, but now all is well and they still came, got the Compostela. And happy.

Santiago — the city is amazing, it is fun to enter. It is a city of pilgrims, happy people. In the evening the daughter took me to a restaurant in the oldest hotel in Spain, which was built during the reign of king Ferdinand and Queen Isabella as a hospital for pilgrims. The hotel is expensive, but a pilgrim can afford the luxury — after Way to stay in it. So is the restaurant — a lot of pilgrims in the usual marching, not evening wear.

In the morning, first came to the pilgrim office, I received a Compostela. And at noon in the Cathedral daily mass for pilgrims. People apparently do not seem. Before the mass was announced the list of pilgrims who came yesterday: number, country, start point. When said one Russian pilgrim from Walesa, I was tempted to jump in: it's me! Mass short, singing nun Maria, at the end of mass, father spoke some good words, and began to shake each others hands.

Two days we spent with my daughter, walking around Santiago. She flew away, and I had the day before departure via Salamanca and Madrid home. Bought a t-shirt and a cloth backpack with a symbol of the Way, little Souvenirs to friends and acquaintances, went to mass. Wandered around the city, slowly and with sadness. I heard the music, approached the trio from Saint-Petersburg. Acquainted. At dusk, return to your hotel and in the arch of the Cathedral played the bagpipes. Came a young company and started to dance Irish dance. It was awesome.

In the morning I went to Salamanca. And here is the Way do not let me go: the same yellow arrows, met the pilgrims, he saw me pilgrim t-shirt, people came and shared their memories on the Way. And finally: in the plane to a nearby place sat an elderly German woman, who was returning home.

The path ended, but... it has just begun. After returning home, I immediately began to prepare for the next.

Someone asked me what I wanted to prove. I'm already in that beautiful age that nothing and no one is trying to prove. I just want it to live.

Can't answer the question: what motivates people who all year round, in any weather, walking on the roads of Spain. Everyone has their own motives: some for religious reasons, who for health, who — with the freedom from everyday life. But go on souls and hearts just can't not go.

It would seem — nothing special, a simple life — go, eat, sleep. Again, go to: asphalt, dirt, stone road, then right, then up and down through eucalyptus forests, cities and villages along the vineyards and fields, on old Roman stone bridges, past the Galician stone crosses and ancient chapels, bars and cafes where you can rest and eat, from the column with a pointer to the seashell to the column, from the Arlberg to the Arlberg. But forward, ever forward. An amazing feeling — living in the here and now. And it all depends on you, you don't owe anyone anything and no one owes you. It's probably freedom.

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The path taught me patience. Learned to enjoy the little things: every day new scenery, met people, sudden cafe where you can relax and have a coffee, friendliness of the local population, the place in the Arlberg. Wished "Buen Camino!"a thousand times and a thousand times wished me the same.

People were different: young and old, fat and thin, men and women. Everyone was asking me what leg, offered all sorts of ointments, creams. But do not explain why limping is long and not interesting, so joked: "gangster bullet". Mutual assistance in the way of awesome. I was alone, but not alone. I have enough personal space in shared shelters.

Due to the Way I made new like — minded friends or co-religionists, I don't know how to call it. We are all infected with a virus called "Camino". Everyone has their own life, but the shared — secret Way. And there is no age, no social status, no nationality, no country or habitat.

Due to the Way I have a new relationship with his daughter. To the concepts of "mother" and "daughter" added "friend." I am very grateful for the support and belief in my modest possibilities.

Because of the Path from the face smile. And happiness. And I Live!

And soon, probably, again will go.published 


Author: Svetlana Bugorkova

P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©

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