Hillary and Bill Clinton walking the Camino at this Moment

Everybody loves celebrities and the best kinds of celebrities are political celebrities.

That's why Camino Today News was excited to hop on our bicycles and peddle furiously down to the little Galician villages of O Culo when the rumour reached us that Hillary and Bill Clinton are at this very moment walking the Camino de Santiago!

It was late afternoon when we finally wheeled into town - we'd been delayed by several run-ins with walking pilgrims and had to stop to clean the blood off our wheels.

Enquiring in a local bar we got our first clue as to the first couple's location. Joe from New York was enjoying a cold beer after a long hard day's walk. He was happy to talk, about himself mostly, but we eventually got him to divulge the information we were looking for.

"Yes, I saw them today. They were just arriving into town. I got quite a shock when I saw them, I'd thought she was..."

Joe trailed off and thought for a moment taking a drink of his beer.

"Well, never mind! Bill was in the lead, he's looking well, Hillary was following, she looked pissed. Can't say I blame her, if I was married to Bill Clinton I'd be pissed too."

Joe told us they were staying at the municipal albergue where they'd been seen waiting in line with all the other pilgrims.

At the municipal

When we got there there was no sign that it was anything other than an ordinary day on the Camino. Pilgrims were relaxing on the street outside drinking beer and wine in the shade, smoking massive joints while wiling away the hellish heat of the Galician afternoon.

But once we got inside we immediately suspected that something unusual was up, coming from the women's bathroom was the sound of a commotion with much screaming interspersed with fits of giggles.

We moved quietly to the door and peeked gingerly inside. The sight that met us was one few people have laid eyes on. Inside was William Jefferson Clinton, ex-president of the US of A, armed with a mop and a red bucket busily mopping up the bathroom floor.

He was friendly and happy to grant us a short interview - although, to be honest, he did seem a little distracted, and continued mopping briskly the whole time.

He has aged, his voice is a hoarse croak and when he grins his whole face is a network of lines, but his eyes still have that Bill Clinton twinkle, that mischievous quality common to pervy uncles the world over.

He explained to us in his soft southern drawl that he was just doing his 'pilgrim doody' helping to mop up the water on the women's bathroom floor, adding that the men's was dry enough already and that Hillary had told him to make himself useful.

We began by asking how his Camino was going.

"It's goin' great, we been havin' a great time, it was Hillary's idea, she said it would do us good to reconnect with nature and spend some time among ordinary people, like in high-school."

We were interrupted by a stunningly beautiful young woman who emerged from one of the showers wearing a towel, throwing her long mane of brown hair back across her shoulder she addressed the President of the United States.

"Beell! Beell! Where you put my underwear? You promised to keep it dry while I am showering!"

Mr Clinton fumbled for a moment in the pocket of his shorts turning away to shield it from our view while he rummaged, before turning to ask.

"Claudia honey, what colour were they again?"

Feigning indignation she replied.

"Beell! Always you forget! They are black Beell, black with a lacy, you know, the edge, how you say."

Mr Clinton turned and began to rummage again saying.

"Hem dear, a lacy hem. Okay, I got pink, I got blue, I got yellow, where'd I get yellow from? Oh yeah, now I remember! Okay, here I got 'em!"

Turning around with the undergarments in question and asking.

"You need any..."

Claudia quickly replied.

"Is okay Beell, last time you just make-ah the big mess! I manage alone this time!"

Looking somewhat crestfallen Mr Clinton returned to his mopping. We didn't even have time to ask our next question ("Have you had any uplifting experiences you'd like to share with our readers?") before another stunning woman came into the bathroom and excitedly squealed.

"Ciao Beell! Como sta?"

Bill replied "Bene, bene!" before continuing in English.

"Careful now, there's been a lot of spillage! I ain't seen this much spillage since I was in the Whitehouse!"

Quickly turning to us to ask, "You ain't gonna print that right?"

We assured him of our discretion, journalistic integrity and dedication to quality news coverage. By now Mr Clinton was assisting the young lady with her bra and turning to us he growled.

"Interview's over son!"

We left discreetly.

Our attempts to gain some time with Mrs Clinton were unsuccessful since she had retired early. However, the next day we were more lucky.

The crack of dawn

In the early morning light we set out with the other pilgrims hoping to run into the first couple again. We were not to be disappointed.

A short distance outside the town we were confronted with the sight of a middle-aged male pilgrim running towards us in an agitated state. With some difficulty we managed to persuade him to stop and tell us what had startled him. He told us breathlessly that in the early morning gloom and mist he had seen an apparition.

"I saw a woman in a Hillary Clinton mask waving at the traffic. It's a horribly cruel joke."

This sight had frightened him so much that he had turned and ran. Not wishing to see the poor man die of a heart attack or a stroke we refrained from revealing the grim reality to him and encouraged him to return instead to the town and rest for the day.

A short time later we came upon the First Lady herself, exactly as the man had described, standing at the side of the road waving at passing cars. As we watched several startled drivers, clearly frightened out of their minds, veered across the road to get away from her, coming dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

She was happy to meet us and gladly accorded us a few words telling us about her new book and her impressions of the Camino.

"It's great to see so many women walking the Camino, strong women, independent women. Women and girls can do anything you see, anything. Even..."

Her words trailed off and her gaze shifted to a point in the middle distance for a few moments, as if remembering some painful incident. At length she continues.

"It's inspiring, it almost makes you believe that if you can do this you can do anything..."

Again her voice trails off. At this point Hillary's mouth twists into a hard grimace and suddenly her eyes are full of tears.

'You never call, you never send a limo'

"It's been so hard. I should be bombing various Muslim countries without any factual justification and instead I'm here hiking in this God forsaken place! And I was so much looking forward to repaying all the friends I made on Walls St for their generosity, losing was so cruel, and the worst thing is that they don't invite me to parties any more."

At this moment Bill appears from out of the mist breathless and with his cloths in disarray. Seeing Hillary he says.

"There you are! I've been lookin' for you everywhere."

She greets him indifferently and continues.

"They have a party every year at Christmas, my friends in Goldman Sachs. It's the greatest party of the year. I waited and waited but my invitation never came."

She chokes back tears while in the background out of her line of sight Bill points to himself and nods silently.

He interrupts to say, "Honey we better go."

With that they both disappear off down the Camino.

Several days later CT received an anonymous tipoff that the Clintons had arrived in Santiago and were holed up in the Paradore on Praza do Obradoiro. Naturally we hotfooted it down there as quickly as we could.

It didn't take long to locate Mr Clinton, he was in the lobby, at reception, entertaining the receptionists and a gaggle of other female employees with his witty repartee and innuendo filled tales of his long years in the corridors of power.

He recognised us immediately and pointing across the lobby said, "Hillary's in the bar, go in and say hello."

'Sometimes it's hard...'

The bar was devoid of customers save for a solitary figure perched on a high stool by the grand piano recognisable from thousants of campaign stops on numerous attempts to get elected to high office.

Mrs Clinton had swapped her hiking gear for a crumpled trouser suit. As we approached a waitress deposited another Spanish-sized G&T in front of her. Mrs Clinton acknowledged her only to say, "Keep 'em comin' Maria, keep 'em comin'!"

She greeted us enthusiastically.

"Hey, you're the guys from the Camino newspaper."

Asked about her Camino and to share a touching and inspirational anecdote with our readers she though for a moment, emptied her G&T and replied.

"Yes, it was great, a great experience, I really enjoyed it."

The door to the lobby opened momentarily and the sound of female laughter could be clearly heard. Mrs Clinton's face darkened and turning her back to us she said the words.

"Interview over boys, get lost!"

Never let it be said that CT can't take a hint, so bidding her a polite farewell we padded towards the door. As we walked we heard Mrs Clinton for the last time. She was talking to the pianist.

"Play it again José."

"Ah, Mrs Clinton! I already play it for you seven times!"

"Just one more time José, play 'Stand by Your Man'."

At the door we paused and turned for one last look of that solitary disheveled form swilling Gin and warbling along to a tired country classic in a hotel bar in a remote corner of northern Spain.

Outside on the square it had begun to rain.

Listen to Stand by Your Man here



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