Camino – Day 24
I woke up early. The combination of massive snoring in the dorm and a mattress with inadequate padding over the springs, added to my normal proclivity to wake up early, resulted in a very early morning. The gift hidden in that situation, however, was me being on the path before first light, with Orion accompanying me on my left and the almost full moon shining bright before me, lighting the path. And soon that gave way to a gorgeous clear sky sunrise, with that gorgeous “orange melting into indigo” color palette.
The first couple of hours was an easy walk, sharing the path with several other peregrinos – all of walking at about the same pace. A quick bite of breakfast, including fresh squeezed jugo de naranja, and I was back on the path. It was at this point that I found myself reveling in a delightful surprise. Before me rose an actual hill (not just a slight bump in the flat landscape). It has been days and days since last I experienced such a thing. I wasn’t quite sure my legs were ready for this treat (they were), but I was absolutely certain that my heart was more than ready. It didn’t last long, but walking to the top and beholding the view down the other side was delicious. At the bottom of this hill was my destination for the day, after a short 17.5km walk. Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias is a small and unassuming village nestled in the hills. Here I found a lovely albergue, Albergue Camino Frances. Despite arriving early I was third in line, so I leaned my pack against the wall next to the other two, changed out of my hiking shoes into my flip flops, and settled in to wait. Soon the very friendly and energetic proprietor welcome the three of us into a lovely courtyard and quickly got us registered and ushered us to the dorm. A shower, making my bed, exploring the village, and relaxing in the courtyard very promptly ensued, and continues even now.
Some days there are profound thoughts and insights, and some days there is simply a deep sense of serenity and calm. Such was the case today, and it is more than enough. Gratitude abounds.
May the Way lead you to such serenity. Buen Camino!
Here is a link to today’s photos – https://photos.app.goo.gl/5RwEdt8PygaEe5Ak9