DAY 38 TWO MORE DAYS

•October 8, 2019 • 3 Comments

Only two more days of walking. Tomorrow I will reach Santiago late in the day. I don’t know how I will feel.

It seems that the closer Santiago gets (or rather the closer I get to Santiago) reality crowds out the imaginings and leaves me with…something undefinable.

I look around the breakfast room this morning. It’s filled with other pilgrims. Some of them are chatting happily and others are silently contemplating their breakfasts.

I started this journey on September 1st and suddenly Santiago is in sight. I have to say “Santiago”. I can’t say the end or the goal or anything that implies that this journey is finite. I think Santiago is just a pause along the way.

DAY 37 KEEP IT CLEAN

•October 7, 2019 • 2 Comments

Today I’m going to stand on my soapbox and make a statement about energy consumption.

I just got done doing some laundry. In my broken Spanish and the manager’s broken English I managed to find out where the hotel washer and dryer are. The washer is next door at the albergue (hostal) and the dryer is the rack set up on the hotel veranda where guests can sit in the sun and enjoy a late afternoon drink. Apparently they don’t mind sipping a glass of vino tinto while my bloomers flap in the breeze.

Everyone has a clothesline in their yard. The few apartments we’ve stayed in have washing machines but not dryers. They did each have a rack to set on a balcony or inside to dry clothes.

Couldn’t we cut back a little on energy consumption and hang our clothes in the sunshine? Think of the added benefit of how good clothes smell when they’ve been dried outside. You can even exercise while hanging laundry. Put some wrist weights on while you hang your wash.

Now that we’ve taken on the laundry we can start working on motion detector lighting in hallways and bathrooms.

DAY 36 THE PRIMITIVO

•October 7, 2019 • 3 Comments

Yesterday we walked to Palas de Rei on the Camino but were unable to get accommodations so we taxied off the Camino to a b&b with the intention of taxiing back in the morning to pick up where we left off.

As it happened the b&b was located right on the Camino Primitivo. It is said that in the 800s when the bones of St. James were discovered, Alfonso II (or Alfonso III, or the Bishop of Cluny, no one is sure who) went to Santiago to pay homage and the Primitivo is the route he took.

The Camino Frances has been really crowded with lots of new people arriving at Sarria and walking just the last 100 km. The quiet of the path is suddenly disrupted with excited new pilgrims. So walking the Primitivo today has been a dramatic change.

It has been so quiet. As we stepped into the primitivo a man passed us by

and with our presence the the Camino the population just increased 300%!

The Primitivo is very diverse. Within 2 kilometers you can walk through a pine forest, pastures, an orchard, a town, and an area that resembles the Blair Witch Project 😮. Spain is truly a beautiful country.

And one more thing…

Melide is known for its octopus so we went to one of the top two restaurants for lunch. Octopus is really delicious 🐙. It’s sautéed with a little hot paprika and drizzled in olive oil. Yummy!

DAY 35 TABLE FOR FIVE

•October 6, 2019 • 1 Comment

When you spend an evening with friends that you’ve known for a long time your conversation is comfortable and dwells on the every day bits and pieces of lives: your children, your grandchildren, shopping, a new recipe, what’s going on at work and then sometimes just to spice it up a little bit you’ll hit on the topic of politics just to see how much you can rile up your friends. Because you know they’ll still be your friends at the end of the evening. But when you’re on the Camino you find yourself in situations with people you’ve never met before in your life.

Last night we had dinner with three complete strangers. This is a different kind of conversation. You are, to be honest, unlikely to see each other ever again and yet you find that you want to know each other on a deeper level. So you gloss through the mundane and settle quickly into bigger subjects.

We sat down to what is possibly one of the best meals of the camino at a bed & breakfast that exuded comfort and hospitality. Two older couples and one young woman (at different tables) shared our spiritual hopes for the Camino and experiences we have had along the way. A spiritual director would be asking the question, “Where is God in all this?” It was truly a spirit filled meal.

The chicken in a white wine sauce with rice was to die for. And my sardines on toast were delicious.

Share your Spirit stories with one another.

Buen Camino and Bon Appetit

DAY 34 LEAVING SARRIA

•October 5, 2019 • 3 Comments

Once again the air is filled with the sound of foreign voices. They’re excited, they want to talk. Sometimes they ask where I’ve started. When I say St. Jean I hear a little sucking in of the breath and then a low “Wow, you’re doing the whole thing.”

And I say to myself, “I have been doing this for quite a while.” My rhythm is that of the Camino.

Walk Wash Eat Sleep

What will my rhythm be when I return home?

I did hit a milestone today.

100 kilometers to the Cathedral of Santiago.

Buen Camino

DAY 33 THE PRESIPICE

•October 4, 2019 • 4 Comments

Tonight I am in Sarria. This is the beginning of the last stage of the Camino. In order to receive a Compostela a Pilgrim must declare at the Santiago Pilgrim’s office three things…

1. The Pilgrim walked the last 100 km.

2. The Pilgrim carried all of his/her belongings.

3. The Pilgrim is walking the Camino for spiritual reasons.

I never wanted to make this walk about the Compostela and yet it is looming large in my mind. Even though I’ve taken three days off of the Camino and taken a cab at the end of two other days I have walked nearly all on the Camino.

Now is the final push into Santiago. I feel some of the same fear I felt leaving St. Jean Pied de Port. But there’s no time to dwell on fear. The first steps have been taken. All I need to do is continue on.

Buen Camino

DAY 32

•October 3, 2019 • 2 Comments

I am back on track for a short 9 mile day to Triacastela. We are really and truly in Galicia the province where Santiago is located.

Apparently Galicia is the land of one million cows and here are just a few.

It has been a rainy, misty day. I walked mostly alone. Time to think about the last stage of the Camino. On the one hand I am anxious to return to my bed and my own cooking. On the other hand what will I do each day when I don’t have to walk. What parts of the Camino will come with me and what will I leave behind?

It’s late and I’m tired despite it being a shorter day.

Buen Camino