This morning I left at 7 am so that I could walk by myself for awhile and have my “own” church. It is hard to find alone time on the Camino! Paul from Northern Va started walking with me, but he is retured Navy and walked quickly, so he quickly went ahead. My goal was to have alone time after I hiked the 790 meter climb up to the copper pilgrim silhouettes, called the place of pardon. I had to hike past the windmills, notice the picture looks like the wind turbine caught the moon.
I arrived and I was the only one there, success! It was a time for me to read Psalm 51 and think about my own areas that need to be forgiven. The ancient pilgrims believed that if the ones from the church there, which is now in ruins, forgave you of your sins, then you would arrive safely in Santiago. I thought a lot about the pilgrims from the Middle Ages. What were they searching for? Just to get to see the body, or the place where Saint James was buried? There must have been a huge amount of hope in that encounter in order to make this journey which was so dangerous back then.
I thought also of my hope, what do I hope for, what do I hope will change? I stayed about an hour by myself, a rare occasion on the Camino.
The scenery on the other side of the mountain has changed. The pine forests are gone and now there were wheat fields and other crops.
So this is how the daily routine on the Camino works. The original way was to show up in a town and see if they had a bed. Some pilgrims are booking a day in advance. I am doing both, butmore booking a day in advance. You get to your destination, check in, get your pilgrim passport stamped, leave your shoes in the shoe room, find your bed, take a shower, hand wash your clothes, hang them up and hope they dry, and then for relaxation you walk around to see the town! If you are really tired there is time for a nap before dinner. You might sit in a cafe with other pilgrims. Dinner is around 7:30 which is early for Spain, but some of us want to get to bed straight after dinner so we can get up early and start walking!