The moon is up

Can I go on back to dreaming, please. It’s 5am and pitch black inside this room. If I squint into the dark I can make out vague shapes moving around. Padding feet to the bathroom outside the main door, a silhouetted figure reaching an arm through a top or pulling up pants, perched on the edge of a bed stuffing a sleeping bag into its sack. Phone lights flash and there is a low hum of activity. I have to get up .

I start the morning ritual. Loo, and then I splash water onto my face. I hurry back to my shadowy bed, trying not to stub my toe on the uneven floor, and wrestle with my sleeping bag. Into it’s sack it goes and now I’m ready to pack my few belongings into the backpack.

I do this slowly and thoughtfully, placing each item in a set sequence: sleeping bag, light shoes, stuff bag with spare set of clothes. Face cream, sun cream, other essentials such as toothpaste go into the top flap, water bottle into side flap and phone, notebook into other side. I remove my passport from where it has been, at the bottom of my pack, and stick it down the side so that it is easily accessible but safely hidden. Finally I pull on the peregrino wear that I have hung on the bed rail the night before, grab my boots and out I go into the communal area and into the light .

There other peregrinos are having a bit of bread or a Magdalena and conversation runs in a few different languages. There is always at least one person asleep, the lights in the dorm are still off. So that means creeping around if you need to go back inside the room.

Then it’s swallowing an instant coffee (this in Spain, but no coffee bars open till later), a Magdalena or something equally non nutritious, fasten boots, grab sticks and get into pack and out the door. It’s still dark.

The moon is up though and shining down the street towards the start of your camino this morning.