In Search of Santiago

A personal journey along the Camino de Santiago

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4th of May – Contemplation

4th of May – Contemplation

Rob The Traveller

From Puente la Reina to Estella

Today is about 22 kilometer stretch between Puente la Reina and Estella.

 

Puente la Reina bridge

 

It’s a good day for walking, not too hot overcast and a light breeze.

As always, I’m meeting some interesting people along the way, and always seeing faces that I recognize from earlier stages of the Camino.

 

Walking from Puente la Reina to Estella

 

For about an hour, I walked with Antoinette from Holland, she was struggling with foot problems and so was walking at my speed.

 

 

But today I feel a sense of urgency, I want to move ahead and get to my destination.

So once I knew that Antoinette was OK and other groups of pilgrims were following up behind, I gave her my apologies and moved on.

Today I feel like walking alone again, a day of contemplation.

Whether it’s the overcast weather, or the bad internet connection this morning that meant I couldn’t contact my wife Pat, today I seem a bit flat.

I’m beginning to wonder whether the Camino is really quite a selfish act.

Is it really fair to take six weeks to walk and contemplate, whilst leaving others behind to do their day to day?

Hopefully when I get to Estella this evening, I’ll be able to reestablish my internet contact and find out that all is well at home.

People say that the Camino is about the journey not the destination, and I genuinely believe that.

But does one actually have to complete the Camino, to learn whatever lesson we are here to learn?

Have I learned my lesson after only a week, is it therefore time to return home, or to continue on this journey? That’s the question I need to ponder.

    9 Comments

  1. For what its worth Rob, my advice would be for you to continue and get to Santiago, which I feel sure you can do now that you’re ‘into the rythmn’ of walking. You ask ‘is it selfish to take 6 weeks out’ – no its not. We all need a long break at this stage in our lives to contemplate, reassess our values, plan our futures etc. 6 weeks is nothing in the span of a lifetime – go on to the end bro.

    • I plan to Dave. Questioning everything is really just part of the experience.

      Walking for 7-8 hours every day, often alone, causes one to think. A lot! Often too much…

      There are some amazing conversations that take place with others who are going through the same experiences.

      It’s like mass, group therapy! 🙂

  2. Keep going dad.

    I feel by reading these posts you have already learnt alot, but I’m sure there is still alot more to be learnt.

    Look forward to the next round of posts.

    I’m reading every one.

    • It’s an amazing ‘journey’ mate. Talking with all the other pilgrims along the way is so enlightening too.

      We are like a ‘family’ of about 200 people moving along the way together.

      Most you recognise. About 30-40 or more you know by name and have spoken with.

      And maybe a dozen have already become friends who support and look out for each other along the way.

      And every day another family of 200 to 300 start out….

      A very unique experience.

  3. Rob, it sounds as if you have moved from the physical phase into the mental/emotional phase of your journey. Of course you know that you are the only one who can answer your own deep questions. Buen Camino.

  4. Hi Cherie. Yes I was waiting for this transition. It certainly takes 5-7 days to learn to handle the physical aspect of the Camino.

    I’m now much more relaxed about the walking, though always aware of how my body is coping, and listening to its needs.

    I’m finding that the Camino is really a mental challenge. Not physical. Most people could walk this if they had the mind to.

    I look forward now to opening up to the mental/emotional phase and being open to what develops.

    I’m so glad I did not plan to do just the last 100 km. That would totally miss the mark I think.

  5. Rob, I’m following your blog from the start, discovered it only about 3 days ago though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts together with all the pictures and videos!
    Haven’t been on The Way myself so far, but also wondering whether it would be just selfish taking 6 weeks off to go on my own? Still have doubts about that, so I’m curious if you already found an answer in the posts I haven’t read yet. 🙂

    • Hi Andy.

      That’s really only a question we can each answer for ourselves.

      I’m still pondering it…

      Walking the Camino gives you lots of answers.

      But finding the right question….that’s another thing…

      • Hi Rob,

        Good answer 🙂
        Keep my fingers crossed you will find the right questions on your way.
        Buen camino

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