Posted by: pilgrims1326 | May 20, 2011

Halfway there …. Sunday

It is a dreary morning as we leave our nice, warm, modernized stone inn.  We wear our ponchos and many layers in case the day stays gray.  Our suitcases are comfy and dry in the van, but ours contain laundry done in the tub that has yet to dry after two days – we fear mildew, but trudge on…past the local restaurant we dined at the night before where we discovered Estrella Galicia beer, past the only attempt at camino lighting we ever saw, and past lots of woolies and moos.  A few times traffic on the camino (us) is stopped while the girls traipse from field to milking barn.  One girl has obviously seen the ad for happy California cows and makes a break for it.  She was looking good until the herding dog spotted her trundling down the road towards us and took over.  One look with head lowered, one good bark and the old girl was finished….no California this day and so she turned back from her dreams of greener pastures and headed to the barn…sigh. If only they were unionized…

Today is 11 miles or 18 Kms and I am still unable to transpose this or centigrade to Farhenheit  – actually, not knowing the exact distances or temperatures or time or language, having no TV, radio, or even elevator music, having only to follow the arrows and be a pilgrim is quite nice.  We have only to know when to start walking and when to stop…eating is a given.  We are transported, fed, and housed by the grace of others – freed from daily survival chores to concentrate on the journey and fellow travelers.  I am constantly in awe of ancient pilgrims, searching before the path was well-defined, before there were yellow arrows, for “the way” to Santiago, the way to forgiveness, penance, and answers to unformed questions.  Theirs was a harsher journey with no certainty of food, shelter or companionship, safety or survival – on foot or on horseback – they sought to gain something from “the field of stars” near the end of the world.  There was some magic that drew them there eventually by the thousands, some touchstone that would right floundering lives, something they sought….would we find it,too?

Monday – We finish our relatively short 9 mile day and return to Melide for the second night at another wonderful stone enclave.  Our rooms are basic, but oh so welcoming.  Tonight our wonderful guides, Ria and Jason have a night off so we are on our own …like kids with our parents out for the evening.  Most of us dine at a wonderful square table from the night before and we have a wonderful time.  We are getting to know one another, to give nicknames, and have little jokes.  We laugh and laugh together, drink lots of local wine, and have a wonderful time. Today the hardy laughs have been more tiring than the increasingly easier walking, and we go to bed smiling.

Posted by: pilgrims1326 | May 20, 2011

Along The Way

John and Jane, California, USA

Diana, Queensland, Australia

Quintin and Merryll, Namibia

Luz, Germany

Victor and Sonja, Norway

Kam, Virgina, USA

Cindy, Eric, June and Ray, Western Australia

Ria and Jason, Fantastic Guides, Spain

Meeting to discuss tomorrows walk

Breakfast

Lunch along the way

Dinner

The Way

The Way

The Way

The Way

Posted by: pilgrims1326 | May 20, 2011

John’s View

We are one day away from arriving in Santiago, ending our journey on the Camino de Santiago.

We have walked many miles, met many people along this journey, yet many thoughts have gone on within ourselves.

I appear to be stronger in my walking, up and down throughout the day. Throughout the days of walking, maybe it was just me, but everyday seemed to start out going up hill —- maybe a test of our will to continue.

I have found myself walking slower, in retrospect, really not wanting this journey to end knowing we are near. The memory of every inch, every step, everyday of this special walk will always remain.

As we will get further away from today and tomorrow, I know I will never forget the days of holding hands down those beautiful country paths so lush green with the sounds of birds and a cool stream running nearby. You stop and realize the many thousands who have walked these paths before and what meaning have come to their lives.

The peace within will always remain.

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