About 6:45 this morning I was taking the first steps towards my last day before reaching the city of Santiago do Compostela.
Thee will be time enough later, perhaps another day to talk about about how far I have walked in terms of distance to reach this point.
For now I just want to tell you about today’s walk which took me for most part through semi-rural and rural areas where I walked a path edged by high hedgerows, farm buildings, barking farm dogs chained when they should be free to run and more neatly tended crop fields.
I stopped for a breakfast of coffee, a chocolate bread thing and some toast at the same place Kevin, Chase and Liz have stopped. I took this photo but Liz was in the cafeteria, mothering Kevin and Chase again.
As I eat breakfast a long line of pilgrims passes by. Some of them stop to drink and eat, the majority continue on their way. I am genuinely taken by surprise by the number of people, some of whom I recognise but can’t remember their names who call out to me and wave or stop to say hello and ask how I am. The short discussions we have remind me of where we first met. Not all of them are shown in this blog.
Breakfast over I continue walking. Now I am in the cover of a high tree-lined path with the sky still grey and overcast.
Plantations of well-managed young Eucalyptus trees provide an attractive background to walking that takes me up and down gentle hills that a chips could easily negotiate.
Sometimes the path is tree-lined, sometimes high-banked with man-made foundations peeking through countless years of lichen and moss, as fighting for the very right to exist as an entity in its own right. I can see these stones are doomed to be hidden from human sight, perhaps forever, in a short time.
At times I am taken close to a road where the noise of heavy Diesel engines break my concentration momentarily before I am lost in thought again, lulled by the sound of my own breathing, the crunch of my boots and the tap, tap of my walking poles on the ground.
Once every so often people pass me. Some of them are fresh on the Way having set out to complete the last 100 kilometres of the route, which grants them the right to claim, which for some is a much-coveted possession, a Compostela, when the reach Santiago de Compostela.
Ok, moving on now, let’s play another little game. Imagine you have people who look after your every whim desire and that you need never worry about a thing, just mAke choices. Something like this………
“Which shirt and tie would sir like to wear today.”
“How would madam like her hair done today.”
“Shall I prepare you a fresh fruit breakfast or would you prefer eggs today?”……………
……………………………………………………………………………. “What colour of Hydrangea plant would you like to see today?”
“How many different plants would you like to walk past in as small a space as possible?”
Towards the end of the day I came across a simple memorial to a pilgrim who had lost their life walking the Camino. The main feature of the memorial is a pair of bronze walking shoes set in cement. Presumably they are casts of the person’s actual shoes. I read the words of the memorial. I looked down at the foot of the memorial and saw just a few feet away a small silver heart attached to what was a long-time-ago silver chain.
Next to the cast shoes was a white stone. I picked the heart from the ground, said a prayer for my dead mother, father and brother and placed the heart on the white stone. Even as I type this I am unsure if I did that for the memory of the pilgrim, the memory of my loved ones or for myself. Maybe it was all three, I don’t know yet.
at O Pedrouzo I found my bed for the night. You need to be rather broad-minded to use the showers.
Steps today 29948
Bye for now folks