I’ve passed the 100 mile mark!!! Break out the vino!!! Heal the feet!
Averaging almost 14 miles a day so I’m right on track, time-wise.
The soil changed today–I just passed Logrono–to a dark red, which means it’s clay. The weather sure has smiled on me so far, just a couple of brief mountain showers. I’d sure hate to do some of this in the rain, especially the downhills.
The route is well marked, with the sign of the shell, indicating that all roads lead to Santiago–although sometimes they reverse the shell so you’re unsure which direction the mean. They also use a yellow arrow, or stones. Here are some examples:
I get up at 6:00 a.m., dress, grab a bite–usually cheese, a croissant and tea and am on the Camino by 7:00. Every two hours I try to stop, air my socks out, grab a snack from one of the bars in a village. I’m averaging 2.5 per hour in the hills, but with breaks, it comes down to 2 mph. With fewer hills I can do 3 miles an hour.
I walk alone and I walk with others. When you pass someone–I am the one getting passed 90% of the time–people say “Bien Camino” and if I’m the one doing the passing I often ask them their nationality and we have a conversation for a few steps or sometimes a few miles. The group I got to know way back in the Pyrenees are my best buds and we often walk together or meet up in the next town.
This lovely woman is Ascension from Espania. We have crossed paths many times and while neither one of us can speak the other’s language very well, we manage to communicate, somehow. If you count how many times we laugh, that is! She is a florist in Guadalahara, Spain. I think she thinks I am an Ambassador or politician somehow. Oh well. By the way, not one person I’ve met on the Camino likes Trump. In fact, they think the USA has gone wacko.
The girl on the left is Elena. She just met Media from Espania and was practicing her already good Spanish with her while they walked to the next village. Media is a nurse. There seem to be many nurses on the Camino.
My two Camino-mates: Elena and Sebastain. We have probably been together the most over the last several days. Sebastain is a medical doctor from Germany. He’s 33, 6’4″, full of life and gusto. He did half of the Camino last year and is doing the first half this year. He’ll end his Camino in a few days in Burgos. It will be sad to see him go.
Elena is from Chicago–and is just 17!!! We think she may be the youngest to walk the Camino solo. I met her as we were walking out of Pamplona. Her parents walked the Camino years ago and her older sister did it as well (solo). Elena is fluent in Spanish (our interpreter) having grown up in Vallencia. She just graduated from HS and turns 18 next month. She’s funny, smart and confident–great qualities in one so young. I’ve adopted her as my Camino granddaughter.
Alycia asked if if I was having any spiritual awakenings yet or if it was all a physical trial. It’s some of both, I think. The physical act of walking some 14 miles a day over rough terrain breaks down the body, then starts to build it up after several days. I think that process affects the mental and emotional part of my being and from those I’m hoping the spiritual will come forth. I think the physical, mental and emotional part have to come first. Those certainly are!
But I did have a mini-breakthrough that came to me today while I was trekking along alone:
There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.
I think Buddha said it, but it came to me on the path today.
The Camino provides.
I hope this finds all my family well. I miss each of you and think of you often and individually throughout the day.
I love you.