El Acebo, September 24, 2021
There’s a couple near me. He’s younger, Irish maybe. She’s older, Germanic. I can’t really hear their conversation and I don’t want to. I can hear the cadence of their voices and the conversation seems companionable. It’s pleasant and I feel happy to be in this place.
I stopped here because it seemed to be the only place open with food. The sign advertised empanadas. I was hungry and in need of a comfortable place after my morning.
I walked 8 miles from Foncebadon to El Acebo. I thought it was going to be an easy walk after the 16.76 miles that I did yesterday. It was not. It was cold, windy, and rainy. I stopped at Cruz de Fierro, had a little cry, sang a song, and left the stone I carried from home.
And now I’m here in a little hippy bar run by Germans. I love it. The food is simple and good, and the atmosphere is peaceful. Everybody seems to think that today is different somehow. The traffic is slower and maybe there is something different about the pilgrims.
I saw the Spanish man I walked with yesterday for a short time. He’s a former professor of humanities (in 5 languages) at Notre Dame. We had a most interesting conversation about health care, education, the history of Castilla and why the people of Léon want to separate from Castilla.
I met some lovely American women who are on their first camino. They were so happy to be here. We had fun discussing how good the Santiago cake is.
It feels like today has come full circle with the morning difficulties blending in with the pleasantness of the afternoon. As the bartender said to me, “There can be no light without the darkness”. Even more, the light and the dark together have made for a very good day.