Current location: Reliegos (26km from Leon)
Distance to Santiago: 332km
It was truly sad to see Dan leave. After having spent so much time side-by-side, it felt almost unnatural not to have him there. I feel very lucky though that I can continue the Way with Melanie, an amazing friend and the instigator of this “promenade”, as we jokingly refer to it!
Mel arrived as fresh as a morning rose, no apparent signs of jet lag or a 10+ hour trip to get to Spain. Before I knew it, we were making Sean Connery impressions (long story…) and catching up on the last few months with fits of laughter, as usual.
Her first albergue on the Camino was a very special one with a truly communal feel. There was even a (ever so slightly awkward) kumbaya-esque session of singing and introductions as well as explanations of why each one of us were walking.
I blamed Mel…
It was interesting to hear people’s responses to that question. “To find myself” was echoed around the happy circle a few times. Some older couples were celebrating anniversaries, some did it for sport, some were on a more spiritual journey. One man quit his job in Madrid 12 years ago, took the money he had saved and has been walking the Camino ever since …
Reasons for walking the Camino seem to vary as much as the people on its beaten path. Walking in general seems to inspire many a poet and a monk. Personally, I just feel happy to be here, to see so much beauty and to be surprised at every turn. And the cherry on the tarta de crema is being able to share it all with a loved one and of course with you!Thoreau puts it well:
“Every sunset which I witness inspires me with the desire to go to a west as distant and as fair as that into which the Sun goes down. He appears to migrate westward daily and tempt us to follow him. He is the Great Western Pioneer whom the nations follow. We dream all night of those mountain ridges in the horizon, though they may be of vapor only, which were last gilded by his rays.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walking
But I think I like Mel’s explanation even better to why she is walking the Camino… “Why? Why not!!”Indeed… Why not.
I have to admit, I find the beauty of each day intoxicating. I hope that you enjoy the pictures as much as I love taking them. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find good Internet connection and of course, the days are long and full. So more pictures will follow a little while.
Here we are, fed and showered after 20km in the blaring sun.