Or is it a kilometer-stone day?
Today was a big day on multiple levels. It was a long walk from Estella to Los Arcos. 14.5 miles. Miles vs. kilometers? The distance in kilometers my Australian friends tell me is so much more impressive and because a kilometer is less than a mile and it goes faster. At any rate a goal was achieved.
See the stamp on my credential in the lower left hand corner? Yes I have walked 100 kilometers since Roncevalles the first stop in Spain. I was shocked! And of course that doesn’t include the kilometers walked from St. Jean Pied de Port. It was a very good feeling.
I got the stamp outside of Estella from a blacksmith.
Since today is Sunday he wasn’t doing any forging, but he was out to stamp credentials and to show his wares. And then I saw this
I know the Camino is not about accumulation of stuff. If anything it is about getting rid of stuff. Remember Teresa of Avila and George Carlin 😉 Modern pilgrims usually have a scallop shell attached to their backpacks to designate themselves as pilgrims. Because the earlier pilgrims would take a shell from Santiago or Finesterre as a souvenir of their pilgrimage I have decided to get a shell there. But in the meantime I have this hand forged shell with the cross of St. James to celebrate 100 kilometers.
My second cause to celebrate came about 5 minutes after I left the blacksmith. There is a monastery that has a fountain. It’s called the Fountain of Irache. On the right is a spigot that pours water and on the left is a spigot that pour wine.
These are gifts the monks provide for the pilgrims. Sadly some take advantage and fill their water bottles so the pilgrims behind have none. I was lucky enough (since it was about 9:30 am) to pour enough for a taste into my cup. I feel blessed to partake in this tradition that has endured hundreds of years.
Tomorrow will be another long day. This time 17 miles. How I wish that were kilometers. And there are two steep descents.