Day 9: Grañon to Villafranca

For the last few days, I have walked by myself, enjoying the solitude and time to think, keeping my own pace, stopping when I want for photos or food. But today was a day of small interactions, opening myself to meeting new people, sharing a few words and a smile. It started as I left the albergue at the same time as Jeff from Milwaukie.

“I know you walk faster than me, but would you mind a little conversation as we walk out of town?”

“Not at all,” I replied.

We walked the next few miles out of Grañon, through the countryside, and into Redecilla del Camino, sharing a little of ourselves with the other. Along the way, we realized we had something in common; we had both worked for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group as Canvass Directors just out of college. It was a nice conversation and a good start to my day.

At lunch I met Noel from Chicago. We both learned Spanish in intensive courses in a foreign country. Later, I slowed to talk to Gabby from Germany. She and I were both headed to the same albergue. I had dinner with Chip from Romania, a fellow vegetarian.

On Day 2 of my walk, I met J.P. from California who asked me why we meet so many people we connect with on the Camino, unlike in our everyday lives. I responded that I think the Camino attracts people willing to step outside themselves and their everyday existence, and open to the connections that this experience offers.

I tried to embody that today and was rewarded with good conversations, warm handshakes and lots of smiles. And my blisters felt better too.

Today I walked 16.5 miles.

2 thoughts on “Day 9: Grañon to Villafranca

  1. Lovely feet, thanks for sharing. Great day all around it would seem. I so wish I could be there for at least a part of your pilgrimage. I’m with you in spirit. Great work today with the conversations and distance. Love you, Dad


  2. I’m glad that your feet are better and you keep training the noble art of conversation. Tomorrow you will visit another mythical and mystical place of de Camino. The Monastery of San Juan de Ortega. I envy you because you are in my country and going to a place I want to see for a long time and unfortunately I have not yet seen. Enjoy it very much and hope your next post to know that you feel when entering that sanctuary.


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