This blog is a record of my observations, experiences and crazy thoughts about my 800 kilometer pilgrimage across northern Spain: the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (April-May 2009).
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Day 8 - Los Arcos - Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Villamayor de Monjardin -> Los Arcos = 11.9K (635.8K to go!)
The guidebooks says carry plenty of water for this stretch of the road. . The elevation charts indicate a significant descent too.
The reality is, the path is not such a challenge. This kind of thing is not unusual in life is it? We hear rumors and have expectations, we anticipate and fret and then it is all for naught.
Rese and I continued to walk together and share stories. We also sang and laughed a lot. Her travel plans allow her to take a leisurely approach to her nightly destination. She basically travels from one village to the next. My schedule is more limited, but I am taking it a bit easy (my knee) for a few days. It is lovely to have a companionable person to share the adventure with for a while.
People say, on the Camino, you are never really alone. It is true, you can always walk with someone, if you choose to, and you can also walk alone if you wish. At day’s end there are other pilgrims at the albergues so finding a companion is feasible. Finding quiet is too.
We walk through wheat fields and asparagus crops and hills covered with conifers. It is lovely.
The municipal albergue in Los Arcos is large and efficient. It is just past the old town, near the river.
We spend some lazy, quiet afternoon hours soaking up the spring sun and resting our weary bodies in the lovely Plaza Mayor. The church dominates the plaza. It is a Romanesque style and there is a Gothic tower and cloister.
A French woman drives into the plaza with her team and sporting dog. I take photos and chat with her. I enjoy contact with the horses and the dog – I miss my own sweet dog. Her husband is walking the camino, she is driving the team and meeting him at places along the way.
We dine at a local restaurant where my main course on the pilgrim menu is translated as “Pig Face”. My dining companions laugh and after my meal is delivered they concur that perhaps it is not the face, but something considerable lower on the pig’s body.
In April 2009, I began my 500-mile trek across the rocky paths and mountains of northen Spain. I finished my walk on the the ancient Way of St James (the Camino de Santiago de Compostela) in early June 2009.
I consider this a pilgrimage of gratitude. Each step was an opportunity to express gratitude for the abundance life offers; each footstep, one of finding joy. It was a humbling experience. It was a character-building experience. It was a spiritual adventure and a physical one too - who knew I was such a mountain goat? I hope you will enjoy my rambling, stream of consciousness obeservations of my experiences as a pilgrim on this historic pilgrimage route that really is only the begining.
Of course veteran pilgrims know: the Camino never ends - once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim. So, wherever YOUR path takes you, I wish you "Buen Camino".