May 23, 2015
There were a few thoughts that occurred to me as I walked from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega today. But first I need to add some more to yesterday’s experience of the people you meet on the Camino. Last evening I had more great conversations with some men from Austria and the Netherlands and even a delightful young person from the US, and today I got to spend a few miles with three men from Ireland, the oldest was 74, the couple from South Korea, and the most delightful 76 year old from Japan who thanked everyone from all nations for the help Japan received after the earth quake a few years ago. In the movie “The Way” Martin Sheen has some good conversations with just a few people. The real Camino is much richer! With just a question or two and a pause to listen, there are dozens of stories to be heard every day and every evening as the pilgrims gather for end-of-day story telling.
After the last week of fields of grain, I guess I was expecting more of the same. It’s OK to have expectations but it sure is nice to be surprised too. The path today was up hill for the first eight or nine miles as I passed through 4 small towns. The landscape quickly turned from the open fields to woods of oak and pine trees. This turned out to be a very beautiful switch from the past days and my expectations.
I also appreciated all the signs guiding me. Some were so obvious and others much harder to see. I guess that this is like most directions in life. Sometime you really need to look closely to see the path and not get lost. Sometimes people who don’t know you will yell to tell you that the Way is “back there” or “over this way”. Well I guess I was attentive enough and followed the signs because I found San Juan, a town of 20 people, and now about 50 pilgrims, and the church. In case you are wondering, my candle is the newest/tallest one on the right.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. I gave thanks for all of you when I lit that candle.
I look forward to your post every day, thanks so much for allowing us to follow your Way. It looks like you will be in Burgos tomorrow. I was there 2 years ago, one of my favorite larger cities in Spain. If you get a rest day there, be sure to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria. It is a World Heritage site. There is an admission charge, but it’s worth it for the gothic architecture and over-the-top gilded altarpieces. By the north entrance, I believe it’s called the Pilgrim’s entrance, there is an ornate staircase and a gold plated vessel they use to carry the statue of Santa Maria on feast days. There is also the grave of El Cid. I my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful churches is Spain, next to Gaudi’s in Barcelona.
Tom, We are really enjoying your posts and your thoughts. Today’s post about getting lost is so true. A lot to think about. It looks beautiful! Keep up the good work.
These are great pictures. They really give me a feel for the terrain. You look like you are having fun with new friends. Thanks for the prayers. We continue to pray for you.
Hi Tom. You seem to be doing so well. I am glad you are having a great experience. I really enjoy reading about it. I ran 11 miles today in prep for a half marathon next weekend. I thought of you, especially as I past the Baha’i temple at about mile 5. It was a beautiful day and that gorgeous white carved building against the sky always gives me pause. It’s nice to have a spiritual injection on these long runs. I can tell the churches on the Camino do so for you as well. Enjoy your journey! (I know my mom is with you and my dad is watching from a comfy chair some where!)
We are truly enjoying your daily writings. The perspective you bring to each situation or change is thought provoking. Thank you for letting us follow you and for sharing your journal.
Jim and Nancy Ollier
So happy to read your daily commets. Praying for you!