It is the middle of the night of day three and I’m waiting for the Melatonin to kick in. I’ve had broken sleep until now because the muscle pain in my legs keep waking me up. There seems no better time to capture my thoughts and experiences than now.
We’ve walked 80 kilometers in three days, and the last 25.8 kilometers was all uphill – roughly 1000 meters high. It wasn’t a paved park path either. In a day, we walk through so many different environments, changing from practically minute to minute. We would find ourselves walking on roadway, and then on gravel, through a town, then what seems like a sandstorm, the woods, through places that reminded me of a jungle and then kilometers of this – stones, rocks and big chunks of edges.
There is a lot of time to think, because talking I find expends a lot of energy, of which is a precious thing to me at the moment. Almost all peregrinos we’ve met so far have started from the beginning in St. Jean and they say that walking gets easier. The first three days are the hardest. You are challenged mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I agree with them one hundred percent! My feet are proof of this. Three days, and eight blisters, don’t stop you from walking and to continue means you are definitely being challenged.
I never thought that I would be able to walk 80 kilometers in three days. When we were training back home, walking 30 kilometers was difficult enough and I would be totally exhausted by the end of it, and to do this day after day is something else entirely!
Everyone has a reason for walking the Camino. Even those who say they have no reason but to just walk it, one gets revealed to them eventually. As I said before, there is a lot of time to think, and this is what I find is happening to me – reasons are being revealed to me. And I’m finding it liberating because with each step take, I feel myself cracking open, feeling things that I’ve never felt before but also discarding things that no longer serve me but have been hanging around like a bad smell.
I brought with me some stones which represent people that I love and which I intend to place on the trail along the way. There are so many stones placed strategically along the way, some with messages on them, and you know that these all represent a loved one to someone. And to know this is so moving! We passed this special location below which just moved me to tears, and it became a resting spot for a couple of my loved ones. I find that I’m crying a lot, but that is no surprise.
There are stretches of the walk where it has been just Hubby and I and we wonder where everyone is, and then at times you tend to see the same people over and over again. The people you meet while walking are so lovely, and with some you just make a certain type of connection.
We walked through these open fields for about eight kilometers without another person in sight. We came across a booth of food and drink for free, a haven for pilgrims being offered by such a generous soul. There was no home, but you could see that someone lived there. When the man was questioned if he lives there alone, his response was “I live here, but I’m never alone. I have God with me all the time. I have nature and the universe with me.” How amazing! One of the pilgrims was moved so much by all of this that he spent the night there. He crossed my mind a few times today as I wondered if he was OK, what he experienced etc. We did cross paths again today, he told me about it all. He said that he felt that this was the place he needed to be in order to be filled up with God’s energy and now he feels that he can pass it onto others. It was a very spiritual place indeed. You could just feel it! And this is the man providing it, and the little boy from my previous post is in the picture too!
We have also experienced some synchronicity too. While we were climbing today, suddenly an overwhelming feeling of hunger swept through us (I still can’t believe how hungry I am – I imagine that this is what a teenage boy feels like) and we decided to sit on the side of the path. We didn’t want to walk back a few meters to an opening. As we are eating, hubby sees a big stone with writing in front of him, and he nearly fell over when he read it! You see, Hubby wrote a book called Energizing Love. It was picked up by a publisher in the UK and it is being launched in September. So to see this out of the blue is very special and meaningful to us.
And of course, it hasn’t always been quiet, contemplative and serious. We did take part in the Roman festival yesterday in Astorga. Astorga was invaded by the Greeks, Romans and others, but was never conquered and so they have this festival every year to celebrate. How fun it was walking around town with people dressed up in all different costumes!
And now to sleep some more!