ON THE ROAD WITH ANN – Day 3 caminando

Today is our third day of walking. You would never know we are in Spain. This part of the country looks and feels like Ireland, lush, green, wooded, hilly, stone fences and houses, slate roofs. The rain has stopped and the temperature has been perfect. It feels like magic lives in these woods.

Our group has formed a lovely little community with different combinations forming and regrouping and individuals going on on their own for periods of time. We all walk at our own pace and as much or little as we feel able. No blisters or tendonitis.

Our days and evenings are so full and Internet service sketchy, making it difficult to write much or often.

We are discussing short readings about the idea of pilgrimage: raising, but not yet answering questions about what distinguishes this walk from others in beautiful countryside, why we came, what will determine whether it was worth if after all. We all agree that there is something about walking in a natural setting with some intention but without expectation that is very special.

Jason, our local guide, is an art and architectural historian, originally from England but living in Asturias with his Spanish wife. He is a master of logistics, knowledge of local lore, and great fun.

The other pilgrims we have seen have been mainly French so far. Today I spoke with a man walking alone, who turned out to be a Mainer living in Botswana, a doctor working for the Center for Disease Control on HIV prevention and treatment. He got here quite by accident, having picked up a bootlegged video in his village called The Way. He had never heard of the Camino but had some free time and decided to give it a go. He’s been walking over a month and suffered early on from bad blisters.

This evening we will go to Vespers at the magnificent monastery in Samos, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Now, time to do some laundry and hope it dries by tomorrow.

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