Camino – Day 35
Today started out well. My weather app said it was overcast, but when I stepped outside at my albergue the first thing I saw was the thin sliver of the waning snow moon shining bright among a sea of stars. For the first five kilometers or so (about an hour) I was alone on the path, walking quietly in the dark with the stars overhead and my headlamp turned down low lighting the way ahead. Up and down over hills, in and out of the morning mist, I walked. It was lovely and peaceful.
But then I reached the first major town (Portomarín), which is the starting point for one of the “stages” (somewhat arbitrary sections on the Camino – usually somewhere between 18 and 28 kilometers). There are albergues and restaurantes along the way, but often more are concentrated at the end points. Up until now this has been noticeable but not overwhelming. However, starting at Sarria the “final 100km” crowd has swelled the numbers. And because I arrived at Portomarín just as it was really getting light I also encountered the throngs of first time peregrinos just setting off. Particularly noticeable were the large groups of school age youth, obviously participating in school trips. The word “throngs” comes to mind, and I was among them for the rest of the morning. After my Camino Lesson from yesterday the level of crabbiness and judgement were almost nonexistent, but I also recognize that I simply do not enjoy being in the midst of large groups under such circumstances. It tends to sap my energy. That, coupled with a change of landscape (far less dramatically beautiful than yesterday) left me slogging rather than walking. And the voice in my head was back – this time focusing the judgment inward instead of outward. I shouldn’t let these things bother me. I should be happy. I’m in a beautiful place on an amazing journey – what is wrong with me anyway? I do know better. It really is OK to have whatever feelings I’m having in any given moment. But I do wish that voice would be quiet. 😊
After 17 kilometers or so I arrived early at my intended albergue – a “no reserva” state run facility, which means if I show up before the doors open I am almost certain to get a bed. That was the case today. Because this is in an out-of-the-way place not at a stage end it is not likely to be full this evening. And tomorrow will be a new day. For now, I am alive and still feeling strong, I survived another encounter with the voice in my head, and I really am on an amazing journey. All things considered I am exceedingly grateful.
Not many photos today (the sunrise was beautiful), but here’s a link to what there are – https://photos.app.goo.gl/7uadjMwCpciD83TZA