Good night’s sleep last night, followed by a buffet breakfast where we ate everything in sight. As we left our hotel to start the day’s trek there was a sign I remembered from the movie “The Way.” It says “Camino de Santiago 790 kilometers.” We got our picture taken next to it as we were walking away.
We continue to say the Rosary every morning. It is a wonderful way to start each day. I was filled with some apprehension about our day’s walk because of the supposed similarity to yesterday’s. But the walk went very well overall, partly because we were both more careful with how we approached the downhill segments (slower, with greater use of trekking poles), and partially because today began with a lovely stroll through gently rolling countryside versus yesterday’s almost straight up hill first five hours. The path we were on for most of the morning was through beautiful forests. John, as always, was most attentive. He even opened gates for me when we encountered them.
During the day, we encountered two English couples and six French couples we had previously met the day before. Much fun as it really is true running into someone you had previously met was almost like coming across an old long lost friend. We enjoyed our time with both groups as we walked, and even had lunch with the the two English couples. By then I had grown fond of all four, with a particular emphasis on one of the wives named Julia. This is because when we first saw them this morning, Julia made me feeling you were with us, Frannie. Out of nowhere, “Did you put on sun block this morning, Bill?” “Are you drinking water every 15 minutes, Bill?” (It got up into the mid-80s today) “Now, don’t try to do too much today.” Have no idea where the questions came from, but I suspect it is because I am both the oldest and the slowest of walkers.
It may be obvious, but the training is really paying dividends. To start with, three days of walking and no blisters! We are feeling good. Our legs (and knees in particular) feel very tired at night, but a good tired. I know I have not had one of my bad days yet but the training is giving me the gift of being able to enjoy this adventure more fully.
One of the thoughts that has occurred to me several times as I am walk is both Francis of Asissi and Pope John 23rd walked the Camino. Who knows if the trail is the exact same as it was when they made their pilgrimages, but I think you get the idea. Pretty neat for me. Feel like I have travel partners.
Let me close with the paraphrased words from the pilgrim blessing we received last night. We learned what they were when one of our French friends who knows Spanish told us this morning:
You will be changed by your pilgrimage. This is God’s doing. One way is increased humility (I hope so… more later). But God will want to change you in some specific way, usually small but significant. It is up to you to open yourself to God while on your pilgrimage so his work can be done in you.
We have poor wifi tonight. I think the free pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.