Camino – Day 36
I’ve now been on the Camino for 36 days. In that time I have walked over 700 kilometers, walked up and over the Pyrenees (a 1,350 meter elevation gain), slept in 35 different beds (on one of my two rest days I got to spend both nights in the same bed), listened to enough snoring to last a lifetime, met people from all over the world, made new friends, walked across an international border and through four different regions of Spain, blew through three pairs of socks, enjoyed local wine on numerous occasions, learned to order the menú de peregrino en español, walked through ancient villages with narrow cobblestone streets and amazing stone buildings, and feel stronger (inside and out) than I did when I started. I am now less than 70 kilometers from Santiago and expect to arrive there on Monday. After two nights in Santiago I will spend another 10 days walking 200 kilometers (round trip) to Finisterra (on the Atlantic coast) and back to Santiago.
As for what happened today (in my ongoing attempt to stay more or less present in the moment), I seem to be alternating between really lovely days and days which are not quite so lovely. Yesterday fell into the “not quite so lovely” category. Today was back to being lovely. I started off early from a mid-stage location, so the large crowds were absent. The morning was spent walking mostly alone, and never within sight of more than a small handful of other peregrinos. The thinnest sliver of the waning moon greeted me upon my departure, and the stars (as usual) were dazzling in their shining beauty. Walking down quiet country lanes lined with trees and low stone walls feeds my soul in a way I can’t quite describe or explain (nor do I need to). It was a shorter than usual walk (even by the standard of the last several days), which meant that I could stroll along at the most leisurely of paces, just enjoying being alive and awake in the moment.
My destination for the day is Palac de Rei, which is at the end (or the beginning, depending on your perspective) of a stage, but I arrived after the throngs had departed and before the new throngs arrive. By the time the new ones get here I will be settled in, showered, and relaxing. Life is good!
For now, wherever you are and whatever path you are walking (metaphorically or literally), I bid you a most sincere Buen Camino.
Here is a link to today’s photos – https://photos.app.goo.gl/ro5ZtTvjP8BrKh4u7