After a long walk,
sitting by the fire is nice...
as rain turns to snow.
I started out this morning at 7:30am after a breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, toast and coffee. It was 36°; cloudy with rain. My departure was delayed, however, by another walk of shame. I'd left my poles propped up against the wall behind where I sat to eat and had to go back to retrieve them. Luckily, I found them where I'd left them and with them now in hand, I headed out...again.
Within 30 minutes, I noticed a snail on the path, moving with turtle speed. I was reminded to slow down.
I walked with two women from Norway, whose pace was quicker than mine, and finally wished them, "Buen Camino". Distance between us quickly increased but soon I caught up to them sipping café con leche at the second café in the next town. Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, this was the ebb and flow of the Camino.
The path today paralleled the highway so there was a constant hum and swish as cars and semis sped by. The panorama around me was beautiful though, and I took it all in. I walked for a bit with Yoon from Korea who said he walked the Camino because it gave him peace. On the Camino, there's a calm one feels despite the physical challenge. Immersed in the beauty of the Spanish countryside and the camaraderie of people all with a common goal, this calm is unique; not experienced in my day to day life at home.
Finally, the rain stopped. I'd walked most of the day in the center of the path where grass still grew or on the grass edging the path. My gaze was generally ten feet ahead as I dodged mud and puddles. On a rainy day, walking the high road on middle ground or on the edge is most advantageous...maybe true, any day.
At the halfway point of the day, I stopped to have my second café con leche...really just to warm up and rest. Then it was back to chase yellow arrows. The rain began, falling lightly; then like cats and dogs, but I was geared up so the "home" on my back stayed dry. It wasn't too long before up ahead, I spied my destination and quickened my pace.
At only 2:30pm, I checked into a familiar albergue and relaxed at the bar as the rain turned into snow. It was good to be finished for the day. Ah...the Camino, I thought, as I sipped my sangria, warmed by the fire.