Santiago was not to be my final stop. I wanted to walk to the sea.
Camino de Santiago
Walking the Camino de Santiago del Norte and Primitivo in the fall of 2017
Today, I spent a great deal of time chanting over and over, under my breath, “When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease,” in time to my steps. Now, here at the end of my Camino, I am only just beginning to understand those words.
Arriving in Melide yesterday meant that I was now finished with the Camino Primitivo route and had joined the Camino Frances—the busiest and most well-known of all the Caminos. I had seen the last of the days when I would be walking alone almost all day with plenty to contemplate.
My walk from Castrelo to A Sexias turned out to be a walk from Castrelo to Melide–all for the sake of food! It was probably my second most frustrating day on the Camino!
I was hungry and looking forward to ordering the menu del dia at the café. I sat down and waited. No one came to my table….Some men at the bar said that they had stopped serving at 2:30. But I had sat down before that!
It was still pitch dark when we had to leave the albergue this morning. With flashlights, we pilgrims peered around in search of the yellow arrows leading us away from Cadavo.
It is funny, I don’t tend to miss people much—that is probably why I can be gone from home for months on end. But I sometimes feel guilty because I think I should miss people more—like I am not being a very good friend.
The walk started uphill, which is not the best way to warm up cold, unstretched muscles. The pea-soup fog was lovely in the village, but once I was on the highway, I felt truly unsafe, knowing drivers could not see me until the last minute. Once I left the highway, the trail became tranquil.
Today turned out to be a beautiful walk, even if it was tough in its own way. It was a clear fall day which made the pumpkins in the fields and beside the road pop out with their orange color.
Camino de Santiago Primitivo Days 26-27: Tineo to Berducedo 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 excerpt from my journal entries at the end of each day’s post. Day …
Then, not realizing there was one more step, I walked forward and fell flat on my chest. Life seemed to swing into slow motion as I hit the pavement and then my pack crashed against me, crushing me harder to the pavement. My first fear was that my Camino was over.
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.
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.