In Search of Santiago

A personal journey along the Camino de Santiago

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23rd of May – My Mojo is back!

23rd of May – My Mojo is back!

Rob The Traveller

Back on the Road – to Hospital de Orbigo

 

And Another Camino ‘Moment’

 

I’ve tried to take it easy today to give my legs a bit of a break so it’s been slow and easy.

And of course more chances to reflect.

At lunch yesterday in Leon, I was sharing some Camino stories with three other guys that I have met off and on over the last couple of weeks.  Wrenchy, Gray and Jack.  And we all came to the conclusion that sharing these stories with someone who hasn’t walked the Camino, who hasn’t gone through the physical, emotional and spiritual journey, is sometimes very difficult.

There are just little things that happen day by day that never cease to surprise me.

One such moment is today.

I won’t describe the moment, because you’ll probably think I’ve become a raving lunatic!  (But picture the final scene of the last Samurai and the Cherry Blossom…..)

But let me just say it was a moment of extreme peace and calm and in that moment, I felt re energized to continue my journey all the way to Santiago.  ‘Someone’ was urging me on….

Note.  I later decided to add this ‘Camino Moment’ at the bottom of the page…..

Roman bridge in León Spain

The Bridge at Hospital De Orbigo

 

But I won’t push my luck! The days of 30 kilometer stages I think need to come to an end. My body just can’t handle those and it doesn’t recuperate.

So I’m making sure that all my stages from here to Santiago are generally about 20 kilometers with the occasional 25 and 26.

There is a lovely saying that John Brierley uses in his Camino guide, “Trust in God, but tether your camel.”  I guess by that the original author is saying have faith, but don’t push your luck. 🙂

 

Camino Moments:

I was re-reading my blog, reliving some of the experience and thought you might like to hear this Camino moment.

I was in a small village about an hour before Hospital de Orbigo.   It was one of those days.  I had walked alone all day and I was feeling sorry for myself a bit.  I missed my wife Pat.  But I think the main reason was, I just hurt.  Even with the rest day and physio in Leon, my feet were hurting and I couldn’t get rid of the pain in my shins.

Two things shook me out of this ‘funk’.

 

ONE. (My Feet Hurt)

I was sitting a café in a village called Villavante I think.  I was sipping my coffee, with my boots off and ice on my heels.  Starting to feel better.  There were just a few cycling Pilgrims at the café.  As I was preparing to leave, pulling my socks and boots on, something caught my eye on the right side.  Along the Camino back towards Leon.  Someone had just turned the corner to arrive in front of the café.

He was middle aged, with an interesting design of long socks.  Oh, but the socks did not match.  In fact only one leg had a sock.  Then the penny dropped as he got closer.  His left leg was an artificial one…..

It was one of those reality check moments…….  I felt so foolish and selfish worrying about my aching heels and painful shins.  What a tosser I was!   Just that small moment was another one of those great lessons that the Camino throws at us every day.

I left the café vowing never to fall into a selfish funk like that again….

 

TWO: (The Cherry Blossom)

It must only have been 20 minutes after leaving the café.  I had taken what I think is an ‘alternate route’ to Hospital de Orbigo.  That, along with the fact that it was later in the day, meant I was totally alone on the path.  A fine gravel track, that lacked markings.  But I was sure I was headed the right way.  Though I did a quick check on Google maps just to be sure 🙂

I was feeling a lot better now.  More positive.  More determined.  And committed to not ‘over thinking’ things.

I paused for a moment to admire a beautiful tree.  Sadly I’m not sure what kind of tree is was.  But it was covered  in gorgeous pink blossoms.  Just like the Cherry Blossoms in that final scene from the last Samurai….

Whilst the day was fine, it was cloudy, and the air was very still.

I decided to pause for a moment of reflection as I frequently did.  I took my pack off and knelt down on the track.  I spoke out loud a sincere thank you for teaching me another valuable lesson today and for allowing me to continue this journey.  I just felt go grateful in that moment.

I paused, before rising to put my pack back on.  And just then, through an opening in the clouds the sun shone down changing the feeling of the whole day and illuminating this beautiful tree and a breeze whipped up and cascaded a whole cloud of cherry blossom down over me and the path.

With tears rolling down my face and a new spring in my step……..I headed the final hour into Hospital de Orbigo.

 

Note:   This type of Camino moment was not an isolated incident for me.  And I spoke to others who had similar experiences.  Don’t expect these moments to happen, but if you walk with an open mind and an open heart, they often do..

I might add a couple more.

Though I’m sure you can appreciate why I was somewhat hesitant to share them 🙂  I assure you I am quite sane!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    6 Comments

  1. I think a lot of these ‘moments’ are due to the heightened sensitivities we experience on long solo journeys. Everything is ‘stripped back to basics’ so we become more receptive to nature and the world around us – which is basically what every creature ‘man included’ was intended to do, before the modern world we’ve artificially created got in the way !

    • You’re probably right! There were many days like that when it was just pure joy to be out walking amongst beautiful landscapes.
      And it was usually a day when I was not only walking alone, as in not walking ‘with’ someone, but without other Pilgrims even in view.
      So there was no distraction. Just me, my thoughts, and nature.

    • I just stumbled across this blog from a link I saw on the Camino forum. The article above resignates with me and reminds me of many of my own experiences. I’m replying to your comment because it hit me like a slap in the face. I’ve been going through some things in my life since getting back to my “real” life after waking the Camino last year. I guess I have been struggling coming back after experiencing such happiness in such simplicity. I guess I’ve been wondering what and how that connection was so strong on the Camino….but you’re right, being stripped back to basics leaves us more receptive to nature and reading the messages being put in front of us. I think my realisation comes in knowing that I can’t achieve exactly that in my “real” life and I am needing to find and accept an alternative way. Let those experiences stay on the Camino, but let them guide me in new journeys.
      Thank you both for sharing

      • When are you going again Kate ? 🙂

        • Omg! I know! I keep asking myself… It’s always on my mind. I worry about going to soon after the other…. Or still being too connected to it and having unintentional expectations on a new one.

  2. reminds me of a book i read… faith versus optimistic…hmmm. the word ‘real’ shivers me.

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