Here, I am sitting in the evening outside an albergue in northern Spain, a hostel for people walking the 500-mile medieval pilgrimage trail from the French border almost to the Atlantic Ocean: el Camino de Santiago de Compostela (the Way of Saint James of the Milky Way).
Draped around my neck, the piece of Indian fabric was technically a scarf, which Barrett had given me for the trip, but it met most of the same needs as Douglas Adams's "massively useful" Towel, in the summer of 2001.
Bink is the shadow on the left, taking my photo with the one-use camera I bought on the last week of the five-week walk.
I am cutting into a kiwi. The rest of dinner was to be that carton of rice pudding in front of me and a bottle of beer. Bink had a glass of white wine, which another peregrina (pilgrim) had given us.
This is my favorite photo of myself.
I started out on Camino secretly hoping it would make me a better person--and more or less right away. Instead, it gave me blisters. Huge honking ones that hurt like I'd never imagined. By the time this picture was taken, toward the end of the walk, I had jettisoned every extraneous item I was carrying, including this deluded hope.
So what you see here is just me--and my towel.