Sunday, June 10, 2018 … 19 km … 12 miles
“Life is everything. Life is God. Everything changes and moves and the movement is God. And while there is life there is joy in consciousness of the divine. To love life is to love God”Leo Tolstoy
Today we have an option. To walk through Samos where there is a beautiful Benedictine Monastery which is the southern detour or take the northern direct route. We chose to do the northern route, which does have an incline but is also shorter. This was good for me because all my pilgrimages I lead go through Samos, so it was a nice change.
It will be a short day full of lush green forests, little villages, farms and beautiful views.
As we stepped out of the Albergue, our group was a little larger. Not planned, just that we all were starting around the same time. So off we went with the addition of the baby family, Tim, Rodney, Tomce, Daniel.
The first part of the day was uphill walking through a magical forest. I love the Galicia area it is so beautiful. The forests look like something out of The Hobbit. It was a day full of laughter and friendship.
It was cloudy and cool. Perfect walking weather. As we topped Alto Riocabo we had amazing views and now it was the decline into Sarria. Of course, a decline with lots of ups and downs.
Due to it being a short day, we had a late start. Even with the late start, we should arrive in Sarria fairly early. Sarria is a good size town so this will be good. It will give us time to get any supplies we need and go to the ATM.
We continued as a group, walking side by side, walking alone, having new one on one conversations with new and old friends.
We walked at a good pace and it was time for some food. We stopped at a café in Pintin. Perfect timing as usual. We had walked eleven kilometers, only had seven to go. And it was only 10:30.
As we were eating outside the café, the tables were basically on the road. Only one car could fit through the narrow path, a farmer arrived with her cattle.
We all laughed and took photos, just hoping none of them would use the restroom as they walked by because they were close enough for it to splatter on us.
Thankfully, this scenario did not happen!
As we were eating, one of the Georges walked up. We all cheered and he stayed and chatted for a while.
We had separated from some of the baby family somewhere along the way, but we were still hanging with the rest. Minh was talking with a young Korean girl inside the café. He then came out and asked if she could join us, of course! She was walking alone. Now here is the funny part, her name was Sue! Just like our other Korean friend.
Kindness along the Camino
As we left the café and headed to Sarria, I was a little behind the group and I was watching everyone. People from all different parts of the world and all different ages. Our group consisted of Americans, Koreans, Argentinians, Australians, Columbians, and Macedonians. All different. All different walks of life. The young conversing with the older, the laughter amongst a few, each person experiencing and enjoying their time with the other. It was beautiful!
Would we have been friends along our normal daily walk? Would we have met? Or would we have just walked right by each other not even noticing the other person?
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32
Something we are taught at a very early age, be kind to one another. We all strive to live our lives this way. But on the Camino, it is different. You actually enter a world where kindness is all around you. Not only with words but with actions. The acts of kindness are everywhere. Sharing food, sharing your time, lending a walking stick, helping someone with an injury, bandaging each other’s feet, helping with blisters. So much kindness and compassion and all from strangers. Strangers just making each other’s Camino an enjoyable experience. Sharing this walk, sharing this way.
I always say, when you are on the Camino, you are experiencing life the way it should be. You are experiencing kindness and compassion, support and love all from total strangers. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what you look like. It is a group of people from hundreds of different backgrounds, countries, and religions. Yet, we are all the same. We all have the same purpose; we are all walking the Camino.
It is such a humbling experience to see so much compassion and love. I pray we all take this home and share this love and compassion with others. Let’s walk this daily walk like we are on the Camino.
Notice that person you walk by.
Share a hello and a smile.
Help where help is needed.
Lend that ear to someone in need.
Share your time.
We made our way into Sarria and it was only 12:30. Nice! Sarria is one of the towns along the Camino which have a nice set of stairs you have to walk up to enter the town. Not what you are wanting at the end of your day. Your legs are tired and you are just ready to get to the Albergue. It is in these moments you start humming the song from the movie “Rocky” It actually helps.
We checked in and had plenty of time to do our thing. Shower, laundry, siesta, grocery store, rest, relax, Mass and enjoy our time.
As we were unpacking, in walked the baby family! We didn’t realize they were at the same Albergue again. This time the baby would be in the same room as us. No worries, if I can sleep through snoring, I can sleep through a baby.
Our Hostel, Obradoiro … 38 beds … 8 Euros
We enjoyed a nice afternoon in Sarria. We were able to visit a few places before Siesta. They have a nice outfitters store, so we made sure to check it out for any supplies needed. I also went on a diaper search with Marybeth, the mother of Damien. Score! We found some. Enjoyed Mass in the beautiful church, received a pilgrim blessing as well!
Dinner was at a restaurant tonight. The pilgrim’s menu is always nice. Here again, Cale just won’t smile when I ask. He thinks I won’t share these, but I will!
We had a nice time with our new friends.
Tomorrow morning, we will notice a big influx of pilgrims. Sarria is one of the most popular starting points along the Camino. It won’t be the same. We were talking about this at dinner and I said to everyone,
“Walking with the new pilgrims will be a slow introduction back into the world. What are you going to do with all the gifts and graces you received along this Camino when you get home? We have been taught to be present and to enjoy each moment, we have been shown true peace. Now we must live our lessons, keeping the peace amongst the chaos and staying in the moment, being present, even when distractions are all around us”Mary Maddox
Sunday, June 10th … Triacastela to Sarria … 18 km … 12 miles, light rain for about 30 mins.
Today was a nice easy day. We walked with the baby family, Rodney, Tim, Tomce, and Daniel. Minh has a new friend; her name is Sue. Lovely Korean girl who was walking alone, she has joined our group.
Minh, Luca, and Natalie have decided to stay in Santiago with Cale and me. So I have changed our reservation, we now have a little apartment where we can all stay! This will be a nice way to end our Camino, with our Camino family.
The Camino brings so many people together. Would we have become friends in our world? People we might have just walked right by and never noticed or took the time to meet. How many people have I walked by in my daily life, who I should have spoken to? How many people have I not given my time to and gotten to know?
Camino reminder for home: Be present with everyone you meet. Give them the time. Meet everyone with an open heart and open your mind.
Exactly what Our Lord has been saying to me this entire Camino. Open you heart!
Blessed are you pilgrim, if you love life!
Are you planning a Camino?
Not sure if you want to walk it alone or with a group?
Let us help you walk your dream … the world will be opening up again, are you ready?
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