Another lovely and relaxed day. Probably my last day of walking with Sally, and possibly the last with Charlotte as well. What an unexpected and delightful surprise they have been. I am so grateful for this new friendship. We walked from Navarrete to Azofra (about 24km), over easy rolling terrain past kilometer after kilometer of vineyards. I confess to sampling an occasional grape from time to time (always a single grape). The flavor is truly remarkable. And the abundance is beyond comprehension. At one point we tried to figure out how many grapes we were seeing. With some extremely rough estimates we guessed that one small section of one vineyard (34 rows), which took us less than 5 minutes to walk past, contained approximately 1,700,000 grapes. I have no idea how many bottles of wine that will produce, but I’m quite confident it’s a lot. And, over the course of the last week it is likely that we have enjoyed a glass or two of wine which came from vines that I walked past.
The “hola” and “Buen Camino” greetings which continue to pour forth from those we encounter (whether they be other pilgrims or local residents) is such a charming and heartwarming experience. Which reminds me that it occurred to me today that what I have heard is true – “once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim”. I believe this experience has and will continue to transform how I walk through the world. I will continue to be on the Camino (the Way), even after I am no longer physically walking on this particular portion of the Way. Which means that when next I meet you I may very well offer you a “Buen Camino!” blessing, and I hope you will receive it in the same spirit with which it is being offered.
I close this particular post with a comment about the village (pueblo) and the alberge (hostel) in which we find ourselves tonight. Both represent the spirit of the Camino – genuine hospitality and simple abundance. I’m sitting here in the courtyard of the alberge listening to conversations in multiple languages as people are relaxing, smiling, and soaking their feet in a lovely little pool. Soon we will wander back into the village to find a restauraunte, where they will serve us a fine peregrino (pilgrim) meal (including more local wine).
Life can get complicated, but it is possible to slow down and be immersed in the simple pleasures of life. Buen Camino!
Link to photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/JzTPp9nFA2pbd48R8