Camino de Santiago 4

Jun 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Travel Adventures
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I finished day 4 of the camino and things are going well. Last nights hostel was really hot so it was brutal sleeping. I got up at 5:30 am and started the repacking routine. Every morning I change into my shorts and shirt, brush my teeth, pull my hair back, and repack my bed liner and all the little things I’ve used. I check to make sure I have my most important articles: phone, wallet, passport, and pilgrims passport. This is usually done in the dark. Then I head out.

This morning I was going to walk with Sarah and Abby, but Abby’s feet were really hurting her so they stayed behind. So I set out solo. It was going to be a long day to go from Los Arcos to Logrono.

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I knew Sarah would be well taken care of because the volunteer at the alburgue lost his son to an infection from a cut. He walked the camino in memory of his son. He was a really nice guy and gave me a behind the scenes tour of the cathedral.

So I headed out for day four, alone, and in the dark. I had my music and was happy to be up and out in the cool morning air.

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It was a beautiful sunrise over the spanish fields. I was trying to be mindful of my feet and back as I walked. My feet and legs are starting to come tuned to the daily camino grind. My shoulders and back on the other hand still need careful care.

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I marched rhythmically to the beat of my music putting one foot in front of the other and watched as the scenery and smells slowly changed.

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In this small town I saw this old man struggling to go down a small hill. He was shuffling slowly along holding his cane and cart in one hand and holding on to the wall with the other. I originally passed him by but then turned and offered my assistance. He eagerly took my hand and together we shuffled down the hill. Another walker who spoke Spanish came over and assisted me. She continued to escort the old guy to the bus stop. I guess it was my first real act of kindness as a pilgrim.

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I really enjoy stopping at the local churches and examining the architecture, style, and ornate decor. I am amazed at how humans figure things out and how creative we can be. I am slowly learning about the different styles (roman, gothic, baroque, modernism). My favorite cathedrals usually have a combination because it took so long to complete them. I’m glad I read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It really helped me to better understand the complexity of cathedral building along with the mathematics involved.

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This was an interesting, small, 8 sided church with an intricate carving of Jesus. The wood and stone carvings I’ve seen so far have been amazing.

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With life comes death and I also find cemeteries both creepy and fascinating. Most cathedrals are also cemeteries. Reminds me of the Monty Python skit, “bring out your dead” from The holly grail. I cannot imagine living in the past, let alone medieval times. No way. Send me to the future…the world of star trek.

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I continued down the path thinking about what it takes to go on the Camino: time, money, desire, purpose, opportunity, health, etc. and what it will take to finish the camino: determination, drive, resiliency, motivation, commitment, etc. I clearly have the beginning and I’m optimistic that I have what it takes to make it.

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I know people who do extreme things. I have friends who swim amazing distances, run for miles and mile, and climb everest. I do not consider myself to be extreme. But here I am on the camino. Am I extreme? Is walking and hiking – traveling the world my version of athletic crack? A need, obsession, addiction that I fuel every year with new adventures.

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I don’t know where my love of travel came from but I feel like its always been in me. I remember riding in the back of the car going on Sunday drives with my parents and just daydreaming as the scenery went zooming past. The one thing I am sure of is that travel is part of my soul. I feel renewed, refreshed, reborn when I am out an about seeing the wonders of the world. Experiencing different cultures and histories.

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This brings up my song of the day. I listen to music as I walk the way. Each song makes me think about things in my life. Today, when Dreamer by supertramp started playing it made me think about all my day dreams. I love the line:

Dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer,
But can you put your hands in your head, oh no!

Oh, if only I could put my hands in my head, what dreams would emerge. If you’ve never heard it before, here is the link: supertramp

I realized my lofty goal of 18 miles was unrealistic. My body was telling me it was time to stop.

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So I decided I would stop in the next town of Viana.

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It’s funny how great it feels when you reach the final destination for the day. You are so happy and relieved. I shuffled into town only to run into my Portuguese friends. They were finishing up their week on the camino. We said goodbye one last time.

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I checked into my hostel and was shocked by the three high bunk beds. I couldn’t imagine having to climb up there after a long day of walking. Luckily I am in a middle bunk.

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I decided to eat a late lunch and it was really good but huge. I wouldn’t be hungry for dinner. But the camino is all about generosity and people offered me to share their meal. I really craved veggies so I had some salad. It was delicious.

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I finished my day by visiting the local cathedral and then watched the sun set on Spain.

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One last funny note to end the day. I had to buy a belt because my pants keep falling down. I guess my butt is getting thinner with every step. LOL

Day 5: Who Am I

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3 comments
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  1. Your photos and reflections really moved me today, Sian. Know that I am ‘virtually’ accompanying you! -Elaine

  2. The pictures and prose are very beautiful Si! I’m looking forward to each day’s update even more now!

  3. When I did the 100-mile wilderness in ME, the first few days were brutal, but eventually we got our hiking legs and it was amazing how much distance we could accomplish after those initial days of grueling hell… Enjoy the moments and celebrate the little things. I’m loving every day, thanks for sharing!

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