Thursday, March 11, 2021

El Camino - The Way #23

Isn't it awesome when you have a good night's sleep  - makes the prospects of the next day look great.  In Lent when we have been struggling - then things start to suddenly come together - easier to pray - sit in silence - your spirit starts to come alive - future looks much better.  Same on Camino - rough days - easy days - all days lead to better days.  Refreshed by yesterday's shorter day - we head out - open to whatever we experience today.

Up and ready to walk more - pray more - experience more

This looks familiar - blacktop - dirt - gravel - up hill - down hill - sort of like a song stuck in your head. And it goes on and on.... Hail Mary - Glory Be - Our Father - 

Looking at the mountains 

A new version of the Camino signs - markers - as we walk through different areas - variety is the spice of life - correct? 

Anybody lose a shoe? 

Walking this path we came upon the Abandoned Ruins of the Monastery at San Anton - there is a small albergue there - no lights - no heat - no hot water - wash your clothes in the stream nearby - very rustic - we move on - too soon to stop. 

San Anton Ruins 

When the monastery was occupied the monks would leave fresh baked bread for the pilgrims who would pass by in these two spaces - thank you Lord for those who help nourish us with food - words from heaven - that encourage us to continue on our journey

Fresh Bread Long Ago 

Camino Map - You Are Here 

We had been warned to look out for people on the Camino who might be looking to take advantage of us - so when these two women appeared from out of nowhere we were cautious - they just wanted to say hello and offer us some hard candy - did not ask for money - wished us well - so who were they - Camino angels?

Buen Camino 

As we continued on we came to a sign directing off the trail - heading us into this field - road construction ahead 

Head This Way Please 

Over the hills - through the fields - we come upon a place to rest and get a drink 

Un Refresco y Bocadillo Por Favor 

A quick lunch break and back on the trail heading towards the open fields again.  Every day - in Lent - time busy with daily life - taking breaks to refresh ourselves spiritually 

A Very Old Camino Way Marker 

Following an old Roman road heading into the mountains - a challenge ahead 

Modern bridge over creek mostly dry 

The Challenge - an extreme incline for the next kilometer - a 12 degree incline - 
even those on bikes ended up walking up this stretch 

The incline begins pace slows down drastically - sun is bright - hot 

Top of the hill finally - see if you can see the trail we just walked

Quite often in Lent - when we don't know where we are heading - we have just as difficult time trying to see where we have come from.  Where did we start - when did we start - are we in the middle of our journey - lost - Lord guide me I pray 

At the top of this hill dozens of pilgrims - walkers - bikers - gathered dripping wet with perspiration - temperature close to 100F - sharing space under a lean to - avoiding the sun - drinking lots of water - regaining our breath - preparing for the next challenge just ahead 

Everyone excited - happy - celebrating - conquering - 
one of the biggest challenges on the Camino 

We are the champions - conquering our own fears - Thank You Lord 
Ready for the next immediate challenge 

Downhill - an 18 degree decline - remember down hills are worse on your knees - ankles - stay erect - don't stumble.  It looks like the cyclists have a free ride here - hopefully they see the tight turn up ahead that will send them flying down a 12 foot drop if they don't pay attention

Walking down about a 45 minute walk - cycling - 10 minutes at best 

Flat terrain again getting close to stopping for the day 

There it is 

Todays trek was vey hot - clothes dripping wet - looking for the showers - laundry - getting into dry clothes - sitting outside drinking wine - eating some tapas until dinner time. Most albergues have wi-fi here very difficult getting a connection - no email - no connection with those back home.  Even when we think we have all that we need - often something lacking.  For the past year - COVID19 has provided all of us with challenges - through these time - Jesus I Trust in You 

Deacon Dale