Oh man! It’s been an incredible week and everything I had hoped this experience would be! Today was our longest trek…20 miles. It was long but my knees held up just fine. I walked slowly down every hill, depending on my poles and braces to protect my knees. The walk was beautiful and it was the first day Ryan and I walked separately. On this walk, no one is ever really alone as people are always before and after you.
Today we walked to Logroños which is the wine region so most of today we walked through vineyards. At one point, I heard a lady behind me singing. As she came up beside me I could tell she was a local. She was singing a song about the Camino to me. Once she was finished, she walked over and picked a big clump of grapes. She handed them to me, said, “Buen Camino” and went on her way. It was very sweet and memorable.
The other thing that is so beautiful about this experience is the people. So many countries and languages are represented on this walk. We all begin as strangers separated by language and culture. As time has gone by, it’s as if we’ve blended ourselves into our own nationality. We are joined by the challenge, the pain, the success, the small living quarters, and the hope of reaching Santiago. The barrier of language disappears and we communicate through a knowing expression or sympathetic touch. We have a new language, a new culture. It’s really quite extraordinary!
This guy is from Italy. He and Ryan’s common language is German. He was trying to do the walk in 20 days instead of 30 and messed up his legs. My leg is also in view with an ice pack wrapped around it!