It is early morning. The sky is streaked with red and the air is blue and hazy. I can see the outlines of mountains in the distance and low clouds moving fast in the sky above us. Out in the fields that blur past my window are wild horses running and cows grazing among cactus. I see a small herd of tiny goats, then a small fire in a pit by the side of the road. We are not in a big rumbling van as I imagined, Freddy and I, but a tiny little economy car and I’m just being rocked to sleep by the bumps and the swerves of the road and the surreal atmosphere when he turns around to me in the backseat and says loudly, earnestly, “Today I see a lot of pilgrims.” And right then coming into focus between my half-closed eyes, on the road ahead of us is a group of 30 or more men carrying banners and chanting, heads down, solemn, carrying rosaries, and other religious relics I’ve never seen. They are young & old, some wear bandannas that cover their faces just below their eyes. And they are trudging forward on their pilgrimmage to a small village 60 miles ahead. They will walk and rest, walk and rest, stop, sleep by the road, eat, then continue on Freddy tells me. The road is empty except for these men and us. Freddy stops out of respect. It’s a solemn moment our car idling behind the group of men. He stops for 5 then 10 minutes and finally slowly, slowly passes the pilgrims. I’m wide awake now, but feel like I’m dreaming. I snap the picture quickly not wanting to interfere or be noticed.
20 miles down the road I’m drifting off again when Freddy turns towards me again in the back, “Lambs!” He says excitedly. I can see their creamy wooly shapes coming towards us, a little herd of sheep right on the road. But they aren’t sheep! They are a pack of 15 or so assorted dogs and they look friendly. Tongues hanging out, trotting along, tails held high. “A DOG pilgrimmage! I practically scream, amazed with my cleverness, but alas am not fast enough to grab the camera. Freddy laughs and laughs and keeps repeating “dog pilgrimmage” over and over and shaking his head, smiling. And on we go to San Miguel.
The rooftop of the house is lovely. I will share some of the beautiful things that surround me up here. Not too many long shots because when my sister arrives in a week I want her to gasp like I did when she sees the whole roof layed out in all of it’s basking glory. I am up here now typing this and adding each picture one by one.