Reverence – Oct. 15, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 32 Padrón to Santiago
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 439.7 miles / 707km
  • Time: 6 hours 30
  • Ascent: 1,630’ Decent: 796’
  • Weather: 60 degrees overcast, misting, light rain

How could it be that none of my tribe suggests entering the Cathedral? Having walked the Camino, did we not sense a connection to this revered place? In reality we are bone tired and growing painfully cold. Attend to the needs of the flesh than the spirit.

Mass
Used during service.
Pilgrim’s scallop shell image.
St. James’ bones.
Alter.

Selfies – Oct. 15, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 32 Padrón to Santiago
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 439.7 miles / 707km
  • Time: 6 hours 30
  • Ascent: 1,630’ Decent: 796’
  • Weather: 60 degrees overcast, misting, light rain

My tribe of pilgrims can simultaneously walk and take selfies. When the urge strike, we yell “selfie” and come together posturing for a photo. We are drunk on the thought Santiago is so near. The kilometers slip by like sand in an hour glass. Infinitesimally slow in the beginning and instantly gone in the end.

My Tribe
Collapsing together for selfie. Doesn’t everybody?
Elation.
Cathedral’s spiral is in the mist.
Cathedral’s Ceiling.

Bonds – Oct. 15, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 32 Padrón to Santiago
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 439.7 miles / 707km
  • Time: 6 hours 30
  • Ascent: 1,630’ Decent: 796’
  • Weather: 60 degrees overcast, misting, light rain

We stand in the plaza before the towering Santiago de Compostelle Cathedral. We are giddy with the arrival. What we most want to do is hug one another, drop our backpacks, and take photos. It’s the same for all pilgrims. Our bonds will not be forgotten.

Land where they fall.
For weeks Carlos and I have been playing leap frog on the Camino. How is it on the last day we both meet within minutes of leaving different Albergues?
Carlos Cambra Esparza, Photograph credit.
Carlos and Linda.

Possessed – Oct. 15, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 32 Padrón to Santiago
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 439.7 miles / 707km
  • Time: 6 hours 30
  • Ascent: 1,630’ Decent: 796’
  • Weather: 60 degrees overcast, misting, light rain

As though we are possessed by magical strength, we storm towards Santiago. Pack mentally keeps the pace up. Feet pain and café con letche urges are ignored. We just want to be there.

Street walkers.
First light in grape vineyard.
Motion.
This ain’t no walk in the woods.
One become two, two became three, three became five, five became seven, seven became eight…the pack. Carlos Cambra Esparza photographer

Zombie – Oct. 14, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 31 / Caldas de Reis to Padrón
  • Distance: 12 miles / Total 423.8miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 855’ Decent: 889’
  • Weather: 66-70 overcast

We look like zombies one trailing behind the other. Weariness is prevalent. The closeness of Santiago is at hand. Tired pilgrims are chomping at the bit.

Zombies on march.
Church cemetery, the perfect backdrop for zombies.
Original pilgrim zombie?
Predawn beauty.

Jammed Up – Oct. 13, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 30/ Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis
  • Distance: 14 miles / Total 411.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Ascent: 893’ Decent: 875’
  • Weather: 60-77 overcast

All jammed up and ready to go. Yes, that’s jam on buttered toast and café con lethe for breakfast eaten AFTER two hours of walking. Carbs, fats, sugar, and caffeine fueling four more hours of walking. It’s impossible to walk on a fuller tummy.

Palm tree plaza by church.
Orange stone house.
Art installation of hats.
Floor tile…so Escher.

Countless Churches – Oct. 12, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 29 / Redondela to Pontevedra
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 397.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,380’ Decent: 1,345’ Weather: 60-77 blue skies

With countless churches dating back centuries, it is easy to become saturated in their opulence. For me, there is too much to see. My quiet times in these revered places of worship are distracted by much artistry.

Santuario de la Virgen Peregrina
Church
Church
Church
Natural

Concrete Hills – Oct. 12, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 28 / Redondela to Pontevedra
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 397.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,380’ Decent: 1,345’
  • Weather: 60-77 blue skies

An elegant stone arch bridge lead to charming steep hills. It is as though the hills were dipped in concrete. Stone houses were stacked on top. Not a patch of earth to be seen. On slopes like these, earth would have long since wash away. It is well worth the climb.

Stone arched bridge
Pilgrims crossing.
Concrete hill tops.
Steep hills
Not a patch of earth.