After a week on the way, we have walked 164km and this is what I have learnt…
Take time to talk with your fellow pilgrims.
We met a retired English lady walking the reverse direction today. She said that she had walked the camino many times since 1999 and felt this was her last so wanted to walk it from Santiago back. This lady enjoyed a chat and loved the fact we were Australian as she had met many Aussies on her way. She oozed a life fulfilled in every sun-cracked line on her face and as she strode away with her silver-shelled earings and her umbrella strapped to one of her walking poles, I felt privileged to have met her.
If you are having a bad day, look around you.
There was a young family of four from Finland staying at our albergue last night. Not so unusual except the husband was blind with a guide dog and the wife would push the 2 children aged 3 and 4 in a stroller with all their gear. They were so happy to be doing this trip together. Not a word of complaint or an unhappy face.
We also met a Swiss lady about 65yr old walking with her 40yr old son. She had taken a fall a few days ago and was had a bad graize on her right elbow. She proudly said that her son was lovingly helping as she completed her camino.
If you have an injury…..stop and rest.
This we are learning today as Tania’s blisters have worsened with her right heal now infected and painful. She had put comfeel on it over the last two days and thought it was manageable to walk the 21km from Sansol to Logrono today but alas was limping the last few kms. She will be catching the bus for the next few days to allow her heel to heal. She feels very disappointed but we still have over 500km ahead of us that she will be able to walk again when all is well.
Don’t always follow the book.
We were delighted with last nights accomodation -not in the book or a scheduled stop. The owners set us off this morning with freshly squeezed orange juice and warm buttered toast. The facilities were far better than the usually overcrowded municipal albergues. Take a chance and you will be surprised and delighted.
Spain is beautiful.
The variety of landscapes we have traversed have all been visually spectacular. Graffiti is limited and usually wishing a “buen camino”. The pathways have been road, cobblestone, grass, dirt, stones, leaf mulch, gravel and mud. The wildflowers are colourful and abundant. Fields of grass sway in the breeze like green oceans. Cloudless blue horizons in all directions as white vapor trails crisscross the sky.
The last few kilometers are always the hardest.
I don’t know why this is so but if it a 20km day or a 30km day, the last 3km can feel like 100km. You can see the town but it just isn’t getting any closer. Bodies are tired and the mind plays tricks…it just isn’t fair!
And finally, RESPECT THE ARROWS!