Bringing the Camino Home

Bringing the Camino home, is also about returning. Even the planning, the anticipation is life enhancing, releasing the desire to write about it. Giving time to other pilgrims is a way of saying thank you not only for the very positive experience of walking but for all the blessings bestowed on us along the Camino.

We haven’t returned to Spain in four long years either as tourists or pilgrims, but plan to return in April 2018 to finish the Camino and serve a turn in Miraz the albergue run by the Confraternity of St James.

Four years ago we began walking the pilgrimage to Santiago along the coastal path, the Camino Del Norte and relished the dramatic views and the towns we passed. We took time to enjoy the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the pavement cafes in San Sebastián as we walked through, intending to revisit in tourist mode some time. At Oviedo we got the train forward to Santiago for a stint as hospitalero in the Camino Fin Del Camino. It coincided with the Feast of St. James, a joyous time to be in Santiago and enjoy the singing and dancing of groups from all round the world. Sadly, that was 2013 the year the rail tragedy cost many lives.

The atmosphere of sadness as the news spread through the thronging square that was prepared for fireworks and partying is hard to forget. So too the dignified return home or to the hospital to offer to donate blood, of the many who had gathered there. One thing is sure. Nothing is certain in this life.

Peace in Asturias

The peace of a night to ourselves in a hotel with a swimming pool pervaded the whole of  today’s walk.  After ten hours on the Camino in 35 degrees of full sun, the huge lettering on the roof of the hotel looked like a mirage. Then you know that one step further would be a step too far.  The relief of a swim for aching muscles was not far short of miraclulous.

So we opted for a langourous pace today, removing boots at a beauty spot, Bufones de Arenillas, and picnicing for about an hour.  We have come along the coast to a rock cliff where thundering seas have made holes like geysers.  Nothing thunders today but an even mist covers everything.

We thought all our pilgrim friends would be well clear, but just before turning towards the coast again, in Buelna, we spotted a new albergue, just opened.  Outside was the metal cage with the orange canary, Richard.  I think he might have been sulking.  He was certainly very quiet.  Paquita had walked herself to a standstill and was staying put for a day.  I offered her the orange feather, but she was not amused.