One month on trail

Yesterday signified one month on the Camino, and although I pictured a quiet day to reflect over the last 31 days, the trail ended up connecting me with two fantastic people right from the beginning. I was busy writing on my iPhone in the bar during my morning coffee in Baamonde when a Spanish guy Alberto and his aunt Blanca came and chatted to me before hitting the trail. I was in a bit of a somber mood and when I saw them ahead of me an hour later I figure we’d exchange pleasantries and I’d continue. Because a car passed us from behind they looked around, spotted me and waited for me to catch up. Because they’d stopped I figured it would be rude to bypass them so quickly, so I joined their pace and we chatted for over 10km until we reached a rustic cafe near Seixon. I was aiming to complete just over 40km and I’d already set off late, but the company was too good to pass up, so we enjoyed a coffee and beer under a blossoming pear tree at the cute cafe just 150m off the Way.

20140417-175424.jpg

20140417-175601.jpg

Again I thought we would part ways, but the two of them enjoyed the pace and rhythm I set, so we carried onto Miraz, and before we knew it we’d already walked 15km with little effort. The trail was absolutely stunning which helped, but the energy from these two new pilgrims was driving me while I set the gear to autopilot.

20140417-180040.jpg

20140417-180114.jpg

20140417-181929.jpg

After another beer, bread, cheese and chorizo, Blanca decided she would take a taxi to Sobrado dos Monxes as it was still at least another 25km and it was nearing 3pm. She offered to take our packs, but I shook my head and explained the term ‘slack packing’ and they understood. The next part of the trail suddenly entered a completely new environment of huge stones and magnificent yellow flowers, literally transporting us in seconds into a zone that reminded me a little of Yosemite minus the swarms of mosquitos. Alberto had lived in Melbourne and lives a very similar nomadic lifestyle to myself, allowing us to share stories and philosophies for hours as the kilometres ticked by. I was able to talk about the significance of yesterday and my memories of the PCT which felt like a huge mental release, because other than Carlos, Ali and Agnes, I haven’t had anyone to communicate my thoughts and feelings to face to face, which I realise made things a lot more difficult for me.

20140417-182038.jpg

20140417-182113.jpg

20140417-182144.jpg

We were moving at such a steady pace that we stopped again at the next bar 10km ahead to enjoy the afternoon sun on the roadside and another cerveza. I think the old woman who ran the bar enjoyed watching two strange pilgrims chatting away in English outside her otherwise empty establishment. We figured we had another 3 hours to walk and probably just enough sun to make it. 9km out we passed an incredible open green pasture where the sun was still streaming over the tops of the gum trees. We looked at one another with the same idea; ‘a quick siesta?’ I didn’t expect to sleep, but when I woke up the weather seemed to be changing signalling the time to move on. I was sure at this point darkness was on its way, however every time I thought the sun had disappeared, it would reappear again over the next hill. This happened so many times it became the never ending sunset, and it wasn’t until we reached a beautiful lake just on the outskirts of Sobrado that the sun finally bid us farewell.

20140417-183329.jpg

The final gift of the day was a mystical view of the monastery as we neared the centre of town. This is where I spent the night after a warm shower at 11pm, following one of the most magical days to celebrate my one month on the El Camino del Norte.

20140417-183631.jpg

10 thoughts on “One month on trail”

  1. The trail provided you with a kindred spirit — with fluent English! — and some bonus gifts as well. Love the never-ending sunset and that magical view of the monastery. Congrats on one month!

  2. Being with “like-minded” souls is such a unique blessing….I am sure the miles went with great sharing…it makes me happy to be able to share my thoughts and what is happening to me now…..your being with new and old friends is lovely…..(Oh, Rozanne, can you tell us “miles” sometimes….I forget km’s miles..) thanks, from your California friend, Barbie…..smiling for your joy…..

    1. Barbie, 1 km is about .6 or 6/10ths of a mile….a little more than half. So, 40 km x .6 mi is roughly 24 miles (a little more than half the km).

  3. Looks like you are getting close to done! At least looking at google maps. Fascinating to follow you through such a fantastically different experience than your PCT journey. Keep it up Muk!

  4. Oh, I am so happy for you – sounds like a really wonderful day on the Camino! Encounters with lovely, interesting and like-minded people, re-encounters, beautiful surroundings, many kilometres made and sunshine on top of all that! I hope today was as good or even better…

    Buen camino!

  5. It warms my heart to hear of your lovely day. You were given the gift to reflect and share your experiences on the PCT with new traveling companions, and it helps lighten the load when we have those who understand.

    Happy Holiday!

  6. Stumbled onto your blog while researching something specific to stage 10/11. I have to say, I read all of your entries and videos in one night. I start the camino del norte in a month and your visual and written descriptions have already taken me there with you. Your words have also taught me several things- for starters, I need to let go a bit of my incessant need to plan every stage to the closest coordinate. I am also taking my tent and have found your entries super helpful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us- I will be following your thoughtful words the rest of the way. Buen camino- Mario

  7. ..enjoyed sharing in this great day…the trail seems very difficult in that there is so much road walking. But this day was inviting ….photos are happy and cheerful with beauty surrounding you…glad you had good companions to walk with,and share your thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s