Beginning The Official 100 Kilometers
Today began what we will call the "official" Camino. In order to qualify for the Compostela - the official pilgrim certificate - at Santiago - one has to walk a minimum of 100 kilometers before entering Santiago. Today the Camino was very busy - we even had a section - similar to a few days go - when young children walked with their parents - or teachers - on a small section. The number of pilgrims was growing - with a few ladies who just started at Astorga - and others - who started the day before at Sarria - the "official" starting point for the 100 kilometer "club". The walk today included a steep incline which we were not warned about - yet - none the less - we survived - along with the brothers from Idaho and one fellow who has enjoyed more than his share of the local vineyard.. One thing we learned was acceptance - of those who are different - who do not share your language - as the group from Germany - who entered today's albergue in full force. Today's walk was a short 13 kilometers - but a difficult one with multiple steep climbs - I have mentioned we were in the mountains - and very hilly terrain. Last night - after an early dinner - we skipped the pilgrim's dinner at 7:30 PM - and ate early - which allowed us to attend the Holy Mass at Iglsia Santa Marina - where a fellow pilgrim was moved to tears at the meditation song after Holy Communion - a very nice Mass with a special pilgrims blessing. Afterwards we hung around to purchase an additional credential - our originals were filling up - and we need to collect a minimum of two sellos/stamps a day - we did not want to run out of space on our cards. Regarding Lent - we have one week before Palm Sunday - Holy Week - now is really a great time to get serious about your Lent for 2021.
Leaving Sarria we spy a bar advertising breakfast - yes time for cafe con leche y tostada
Now at this point tons more pilgrims just starting their 100 Kilometers
Bridge into the countryside
Train crossing - pilgrims waiting
Arlene waiting - our yellow arrows
Walking in the morning fog again
Where did they all come from?
Foot - knee - hip - leg problems a reality
Newer modern albergue
Yes busier - at least 15 pilgrims ahead of us
Crib for drying crops
Many way markers get a graffiti treatment
Surprise Miss Ostrich
Waiting at our albergue for the night
In Lent we normally spend a lot of time waiting - in prayer - in adoration - in meditation - waiting for God to hear our pleas. It is all good.