As I prepare for probably 10 miles today, I am looking forward to the walking. If someone were to say that it was time to stop, I would rebel. I am not read to quit. Will I feel the same when I get to Santiago? Or Finisterre?
But I got to thinking about how taking advantage of this refuge fit in with my gratitude choice for the day—being appreciative of things that happen in my life. If you are appreciative for the offer of a gift or opportunity and accept it, then you honor the giver.
I am lingering in the Douro River Valley here in Portugal. Sometimes, when I walk through the countryside, I feel like I am in a scene from Under the Tuscan Sun.
We started the day at about 3º C—pretty cold—but by the time I reached Cerdeño on the outskirts of Oviedo in the late afternoon, I was hot, sticky, and completely wilted. I stopped in a grocery and bought cold water and cold orange juice and downed them all at once in a nearby park before continuing on into Oviedo.
Soon, I came to the place where the Camino Primitivo splits from the Camino del Norte. It is a weighty decision for me to choose to do the Primitivo. Most pilgrims who start on the coastal path, stay on the del Norte all the way; some choose the Primitivo. The official start of the Primitivo is actually in Oviedo (two more days walking), but this is the place where pilgrims coming from the del Norte must decide.
The days are feeling more fall-like with cooler days and nights, but fair weather is holding and it is quite comfortable for hiking. At least once a day I come across bursts of orange in fields and gardens, reminding me of home.
The village was special enough just in itself…narrow cobbled streets, stone houses…exactly what you would think of for a traditional village in Spain. But imagine my surprise when I came upon these trompe l’oeil paintings!
today was to be one of wonder. I would be slowed down quite a bit by many simple sights along the way. It is amazing that I made 10 miles by day’s end. Support for pilgrims can be found almost every day. Sometimes it is hard to find the yellow arrows that are our waymarks on the Camino, but then there are also times when you cannot mistake which way to go.
David, the hospitero, greeted me warmly, and unlike in most albergues who begin the registration process right away, he said, “First things first…Sit down. Would you like tea? Café? He asked where I was from, how my day was and I felt like he was truly interested. I ended up in a room of four beds by myself.
The next morning I did not have to leave the hotel until noon. Again, I thought about how lucky I was to have shelter and decided to dedicate this day as well to being grateful for the shelter I found last night.
Day 11 of my Camino de Santiago del Norte: Cobreses to San Vicente. — Getting lost and finding shelter
Days 7-10 of my Camino de Santiago del Norte: Santander to Cóbreces. — The Monument to the Peregrinos and “You are my FIRST pilgrim!”
Days 5-7 of my Camino de Santiago del Norte: Santona to Santander. — Beaches, the famous Guemes albergue, and another ferry.
Day 4 of my Camino de Santiago del Norte: Liendo to Santoña. — Walking through Laredo and taking a ferry to Santoña, where I took my first rest day.
Days 1-3 of my Camino de Santiago del Norte: Portugalete to Liendo — A beautiful and gentle walk along the coast.
It is 177 miles from the south to north coasts of Wales. I had no delusions that I would do the entire walk, so I started reading about sections and decided to start in the middle of the path at the lovely village of Welshpool.
Sometimes (well, many times) when you are traveling, things don’t turn out the way you envisioned them. I had such great plans to visit some parts of Scotland and for the past year I had even visualized myself there.
But then, the sheep came to a wide place in the road and as they spread out, the dog went to work. The farmer only occasionally had to give him direction; the dog zig-zagged behind the tractor making sure there were no slackers.
I spent the entire day walking through the exhibits showing the living quarters, spinning machinery, children’s living conditions, the non-profit company store, and today’s working spinning mill making the New Lanark Wool Yarn.
You find hentilagets where sheep have rubbed up against walls or fences, but the best pieces for spinning are on the ground. I found that most hentilagets are rubbish. They have been weathered too much and are slightly felted,