Camino June 19th (Chris)

Hi Folks!

Sorry for the silence, haven´t been in the frame of mind to put anything up!

When last I wrote, I was heading for Leon… the day was uneventful, however, it´s always hard walking into a big city… the pavement and sidewalks are brutal on the feet and legs!

The walk has been rather uneventful for the last few days… I´ve met up with a few familiar pilgrims along the way… Marcel a photographer from Holland whom I met and had dinner with a week or so ago… Joanna from Sweden and Sebastian from London, and another nice Australian couple Catherine and Alf, who recognized my pack, and correctly assumed that I was Christina´s husband!

For the most part, I´ve been walking alone, and at times, feeling a bit lonely, but socialize over coffee and the evening peregrino menu with familiar faces.

At times, the walk has been long stretches of walking on the black-top… km after km… and as a result, I´ve developed some sort of tendonitis issue that at first, would come and go… but for the last couple of days, it´s been more come than go… it was a bit brutal today, going from Rabanal del Camino, up and over the mountain, to Molinaseca… the terrain was hard on the feet and legs.  My little toes look really, really bad… layers and layers of skin have been coming off from the various blisters… I hope that I´m not doing any permanent damage!

Along the way, I passed Cruz de Ferro, the spot where people place the stone they have been carrying with them… it apparently signifies the letting go of whatever burden you´ve been carrying with you… I´ve been carrying a stone shaped like one of the many arrows we see along the way… picked it up about 400km ago… and I found myself in an emotional state, as I placed it on the mound under the Cruz de Ferro with all the other stones… with all the thinking I´ve been doing lately about my life, and feeling like I coulda shoulda done some things differently… perhaps the simple act of placing that stone will unburden me once and for all… leave it all in the past… begin life anew.

I´m running out of time here on the Camino… there is no way that my legs and feet can carry me to Santiago by next Tuesday without the use of alternative transport.  Tomorrow, I plan to walk 8km toe Ponferrada, and find a bus that will propel me down the road about 60km or so to Triacastela.  From there, I should be able to walk the 20-27km a day needed to ´get me to the church on time´ for lack of a better phrase… I will do this without shame or guilt!  :-)

There has been a sighting of my boots; apparently some tall, balding Irish lad name Antonio has them… if rumours are correct, he walked uncomfortably for three hours that faithful day, before realizing he had the wrong boots… another really good reason to take a bus down the road… at this point, I have no intention of giving my ´new´boots back!

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6 Responses
  1. Claudette says:

    “feeling like I coulda shoulda done some things differently…” Sounds like something every one of us has said at some moment in time- and as we get older we probably are tempted to say it more than once! – ’til we realize that life is a process, and that regardless of what we have done -or not done – every new day is a chance to “begin life anew”.
    Chris, yes! Let that stone unburden you under the Cruz de Ferro, and latch on to that new beginning with all you are. You have the strength of a gentle soul to sustain you. Trust it!
    Claudette

  2. Ron says:

    Get a doctor or nurse to check your toes. Please… (ASAP)

    • chris says:

      Hi Ron… they have mini pilgrim hospitals here and there along the way… I´ll get them to check things out the next time I see one… it probably looks worse than it actually is… just important to keep things clean and dry!

  3. Mason says:

    Hi Chris,

    I have been following you guys since I was in the Bahamas, we have since returned to Canada in April and life is the same here we were very happy down south however the solution to stay is very complicated. My wife and have had the same journey without all the walking :) making decisions in our lives to change the way we live our lives. We know we want change…but it’s how you get there that is the ultimate journey.

    Everybody’s journey is their own because we never want to live our lives with regret…

    The loneliness is really feeling helpless in making the right decisions for all concerned, I remember before we began our IT careers, you were so passionate about photography it was your passion….so follow that passion. I’m now back here and wish some days I was on that journey you are experiencing because its life altering. The key to my marriage not my first remember that I was married for 20 + years and my current marriage is 6th year, is to compromise but maintain your individual lives and grow.

    If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking. – Buddhist saying

    as for your feet take care of them……..after many years in the army your feet are the most important thing to keep healthy and dry so you err on the side of caution.