“I know now that there is no one thing that is true–it is all true.”–Hemingway.
Well, the Old Man got that right. At least pertaining to the Camino. Everything about it is true: from the solitude to the comarderie, from the difficulty to the beauty, from the villages to the large cities, from the small churches to the enormous cathedrals, from what happens within and what happens externally–this and more is all true.
Today I walked from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino, Some 12 miles, at an altitude of 1,155 meters–3,788 feet. Tomorrow we go to almost 5,000 feet to Cruz de Ferro, a legendary point on the Camino. There stands a tall iron cross and pilgrims leave a rock or other object they brought from home at its base–a letting go, if you will. I brought a small smooth rock from my Dialogue in the Desert workshop walks in Arizona.
Then a short while later I’ll reach the highest point in the Camino–Altar Mayor!
I had no idea my grandson Felix had a bar here! Today there was a small village about every three miles or so. Sure helps break up the miles when you can stop for a drink and snack.
In most of the little villages the Camino seems to be the major revenue source. Without it, I don’t see how they would stay alive.
It sure is nice though, to see the church bells from a distance–knowing that a bar should be ahead!
My fellow pilgrims, June (who I call Santa Christina), from the US (an Amherst grad, Pete!) and Palo, a financial advisor with a bank from Milano. June loves classical music, especially chamber music. Great souls.
Hello! A cowboy bar right smack on the Camino! Yep, feeling right at home here.
The stonework was amazing in this village…
I wish I had been taking more photos if doors along the Way. They are so interesting.
This doesn’t show up well, but the fields were divided into rock walked paddocks of stone. Perhaps for a paddock of sheep at one time?
This is what most of today’s path looked like. Can you say Oklahoma?
This is what I looked like walking that path in 88-degree heat. I’m channeling Lawrence of Arabia. Well, the mind does wander out here. And wonder…
Meet my new traveling companion, Julio the Eagle!
Out in the middle of nowhere, Sir Albert here had set up shop with his eagle. Pay a Euro, hold the eagle, get your pilgrim passport stamped–or sword fight this Templar Knight. I chose the Euro.
Templar Knights roamed this part of the Camino in olden times, protecting pilgrims from bandits. Kinda like the Church version of Highway Patrol. They wanted to make sure the pilgrims got to Santiago to pay indulgences…
Finally, Rabanal del Camino! The steepest part was walking up the old Roman road into town!
And my reward? I treated myself to this breakfast–well, it’s the nearest I can get to breakfast. First time I’ve had eggs anything but in a tortilla. And they serve French fries with everything! That’s cold cheese, by the way.
Gotta run to Mass. A Mass every evening! I sure need it!