He who limps is still walking. ~Stanislaw J. Lec
Walking is simple. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other. Today I did that 34,947 times. That equates to just over 13 miles. Not big by Camino standards, but the amount of miles I do each day depends on the amount of hills there are–and their steepness.
Before the Camino, walking 10 miles seemed extreme; now it is just part of the day’s journey. Some days the miles pass quickly, some are slow and labored. The hills take it out of you. The uphills are, for the most part, just straight up, no switchbacks. But it’s the downhills that get you. Long, long, and longer. Straight down. Your feet are crammed into the toe box of your boot. The pressure on your outside calf muscle is constant and immense. Add rocks, roots and slick shale to the underfoot and it can be quite treacherous. Add rain to the mix and it can be downright dangerous.
Today was a day when I walked mostly by myself, except for a few miles when I talked with a woman from Sweden, one from Arkansas, and another from Australia. They all agree that the Camino is not the easy pathway it is made out to be.
But that is what separates us peregrinos from tourists. And it’s a mark we wear with some pride.
Here are some random photos from the day. I think they’ll be self-explanatory, for the most part.
The same dog from yesterday. He’d pick up this stick, go running up to his master, drop it and look up at him, hoping he’d toss it for him to fetch. Half the time he just went ignored, so he’d pick it up again and race up to his side once more, drop it and look up, pleading with him to throw it. He’s the best dog.
Man of La Mancha Mornings
Grandfather of the Camino