Friday, March 5, 2021

El Camino - The Way #17

On this walking pilgrimage we quickly settled into a daily routine - sleep as late as possible - too many early walkers who disturbed our sleep - 5:00 AM - lights still out - rustling noises as they dress and repack their back packs in the dark - some with flashlights or hiking head lamps trying to gather all their belongings - too often those lights shining into the eyes of those trying to get more sleep - the noise from shuffling all their stuff also making it difficult to sleep. We had to leave the albergues by 10:00 AM at the latest - that allowed the staff time to clean the facility and bunk beds.  Most days we were up and ready to leave by 7:30 AM which still allowed us plenty of walking time as well as stopping early enough to get a bed.  Some people reserved ahead - not knowing how difficult each day would be we played our day by ear and using a guide book to know where the hostels were located we had a good idea when to stop - time of day - how bad my blisters hurt. We learned very early that those who walked until dark often found the albergues filled and no beds available.  Taking that into consideration - time of day - distance walked - making sure we had a bed - had us stopping by 4:30 PM at the latest.  Less people in the albergue a better choice of bed - away from the bathrooms - closer to the windows for a good breeze since they are not air conditioned.  Just because we were back packing did not mean it had to be too rough of an experience.  In Lent as we try to follow our plans for prayer time - accomplishing our daily spiritual exercises - fitting those in with our daily obligations sometimes challenging - so we adapt. we pray.

Back into the country side 

Another beautiful day - although we were prepared for rain - we only had light rain on our last day of pilgrimage.  This section mostly flat - near here we met a couple from the Philippines - during our time in Spain we met pilgrims from 24 countries - all spoke English 
A new style Camino marker with yellow arrow & Filipino pilgrims

Random monument dedicated for pilgrims who died while walking 

Pilgrim biking the Camino 

Walking through a grape field - didn't pick any

A Camino directional sign with local history 

Village of Najera - Our albergue for tonight 

This night we experienced semi-private dormitory beds - two bunk beds in a shared room. One of us on top the other got the lower - just to be fair to the others sharing the room

Dormitory bunk beds

Alburgue entrance - 
Must leave boots & trekking poles at entrance to avoid bringing dirt to bed area & pray they are still there in the morning 

We ended our day early enough to find a place to eat and wander around the town. The alburgues all lock their doors at 10:00 PM so must be back or you get locked out. The sunsets in Spain - always beautiful - time to pause - give God the praise for another fruitful day. 
Beautiful Sunset 

At bedtime - always time for many prayers - prayers of thanksgiving - prayers of praise - intercessory prayers for self - those at home - those also walking the Camino.  In Lent as any other night - final prayers for the day.  

Deacon Dale