“Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
The poet Pablo Neruda
Catching up from yesterday…and today.
I’m in the mountains–O’Cebrerio, a small hamlet in the province of Galicia. Galicia is totally unlike the rest of Espania: fertile, lush, green, pines and ferns and best of all, the kind of food Barbs mom used to make when we’d go to the farm: hearty, country, real. Last night the clouds crouched right down on the thatched roof buildings and I had the best meal of my entire Camino: Caldo Gallego–a simple but hearty vegetable soup. I was worn down, tired, cold and feet ached. I call it the sopa that saved my life. And no, I did not order a bottle of wine-when you order a glass of wine they bring you the bottle! Another reason to love Galicia!
I got a piece of toast before setting out this morning and the woman just slaps it on the stove! Omaw would love it here. The Galacians identify as much with the Celtics as they do with Spain because that’s their roots.
One of the oldest churches on the Camino–and note the electronic prompter to the right! This is the first one I’ve seen. It prompted in four languages. The pilgrims make up at least 80% or more of the people in the pews. Without the Camino, the churches and villages would be empty.
Love the thatch roofs.
So I doned my rain jacket, long pants and pushed off. A few miles down the road is this statue of a peregrino. There were a group of Italians taking pictures and so, being the kind Anericano I am, I offered to take their group photo. They were so happy they asked if I wanted a photo of me with the statue. I said, “Si, but con giovane donna! They all laughed and so here we are! Turns out they live near Barbara’s relatives! They know Serrone!
Here name is Kirsty, she’s from Scotland, has a rich accent and the voice of a folk singer–image Joan Baez. She writes her own music, gets by as a street performer and is a free vagabond spirit. We walked together for several hours. She sang and we chatted and it’s pretty amazing that a 24-year-old and a way past 24-year-old can have conversations about life. The Camino just cuts through so much formality.
You learn to share the Camino…
Just to show what hiking 13-16 miles a day does to your feet:lancing a blister on the side of my heel that just won’t go away.
But I won’t let that ugly photo be the final image of the evening…
Man of La Mancha Steps
Grandfather of the Camino