Camino de Santiago del Norte: Days 5–7

Note: This is a camino of gratitude for me. Each day, I choose something I am grateful for in my life and think and journal about it throughout the day. I will share an exerpt from my journal entries at the end of each day’s post.

Day 5: Sañtona—Noja   5.25 miles
24 September 2017

With a bit of a tear, I left Sañtona. It is a lovely little town and I hope to come back someday—if for no other reason than to sample more tapas! 

Today’s walk was across a lovely beach full of surfers taking advantage of the huge breakers. Then a climb over a steep hill, which, I had read would be somewhat dangerous. It wasn’t so much, but I did have to pay attention to how I made my way across it. On the Camino, we pilgrims are always on the lookout for waymarks, which are mostly yellow arrows (fletchas amarillas) to keep us on the right path. On this rock trail, which I sometimes had to climb over, someone had painted an arrow pointing straight up—as if I was planning to fall down the side of the steep hill!

Then I had a view of another lovely beach at low tide and some interesting rocks where I ate my lunch. The second beach was over 3 miles long! 

I felt very incongruous walking with a full pack among the Sunday beach-goers in their suits and bikinis. I took off my shoes and joined them in the promenade.

Day 6: Noja—Guemes  9.3 miles
25 September 2017

I got rained on a bit on the way to Guemes, but at least I never got cold and the sun returned in time for me to sit down and eat my lunch. 

The Guemes albergue has quite a reputation for its beauty and hospitality. It was a place that is communally supported. They feed you dinner and breakfast and the accommodations are comfortable. 

I actually got to sleep in 
a non-bunk bed! 

It is difficult to explain, but I left in the morning feeling like the hospitality was a bit forced—like it was expected that everyone would be amazed at how wonderful it is.  Not everyone leaves feeling this way, so perhaps it was only my perspective. It may be that part of my problem was that there were over 70 pilgrims in residence that night—that is a lot for an albergue on the del Norte.

Day 7: Guemes—Santander  10 miles
26 September 2017

This sign was the beginning of my seventh day. I have quite a few days to go! I am walking slowly and not covering as many miles each day as I had expected I would be by this time. This is especially true when I am walking along the coast—there are so many places where I just have to stop and study the water hitting the rocks… 

…or watch people learning to surf
I see many pilgrims only for one or two days and then they are way ahead of me. 

But I realize more and more each day that THIS is my Camino and I must do it in my own way. And if I am dispacio (slow), then maybe that is my way. I met two pilgrims that said they were doing the Camino Escargo (at a snail’s pace). I have to relate to that! But I do believe they have passed me up as well…

I am quite far behind in my blog posts. I apologize for that. Internet access is spotty on the Camino del Norte, but I will do my best to continue to keep you updated. I promise more indepth stories in the future!

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