Sitting by the River
It is Sunday morning, just after 10, and I am sitting beside the Arga river looking at Puente La Reina. The bridge stretches over the river providing a way across its watery expanse. The first few days of walking is now behind me and today I am taking a little rest from the usual – that is walking. I think my feet and knees are thanking me and this also gives my throat time to heal.
Earlier just after 8:30 it was relative quite, since then people have awoken or driven to this historic town where Charlemagne himself stayed after he defeated the Moors. Behind me is a roller blade race. Perhaps I’ll go and see some of the action a little later.
A Lot of Steps
Not that I am counting, but I have trodden 140,000 steps on the Camino Way thus far. That is the recommended amount I am suppose to do in 2 weeks!
This week has had its ups and downs as were expected. A few hiccups along the way, but nothing much. And with just one blister after 4 days of walking, I think it is going well. The highlight was when I rang a bell at St. Esteban. It dated back to the 1300’s. Just think how times it has rung over the years, and I rang it once, calling people.
Some People along the Way
I met an Australian couple, Dobrah and Paul. The are Macedonian Australians. After the usual small talk I asked what they do for a living and then of course I had to reveal my profession. Dobrah asked, “What do you think of us who have no faith who walk the Camino?”
It turned out that they do have faith. Paul renewed his roots with the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Bishop who is over Australia is married to a relative of his. When I asked Dobrah why she is walking the Camino she said, “personal discovery.”
On the first day I met Amy who is a retired teacher from Vermont. She and two other people walking with her were members of a church and facing the decline challenge we all do. On day two they met a priest from Mexico and when I went for a coffee lo and behold there they were introducing me to Robert the priest.
Yesterday for the last part of the journey I met a local from Navarre whose name is Alberto. He is also walking the Camino, but only on weekends. So, every weekend he walks for Saturday and Sunday. He is walking it for personal reasons as well and to see the different places and to connect to history.
What were my learnings thus far?
- Well, I do appreciate those moments of silence and quite often found it hard when it was disturbed whether by people talking very loudly or the intrusion of civilization (cars).
- People have a story and are very eager to share even if they don’t realize it.
- It is great to be part of history – to walk over a bridge that has seen many feet, felt the stung of battle, carried across it historical figures like Charlemagne.
- People are dedicated to their faith (were dedicated) if you look at the ancient churches their magnificence; and, to have the faith that God will provide for us when we give all to him is something to admire, perhaps something us 21st century faithful can learn from our spiritual ancestors of the 12-16 century.
To end, here are a few pictures of Sunday and a short clip of my view this morning. To God be the Glory.