There is a saying on the Camino: “The Way has a way.”
I left my albergue later than normal, feeling a bit tired after such a long day yesterday. I hadn’t planned to walk that far, but the day was beautiful and when I got to my intended destination, I decided to walk to the next town. Unfortunately, the albergue was closed there, so I had to walk even farther, and before I knew it, I had walked 40 kilometers.
I also hadn’t planned to take a rest day today. But The Way has a way. I stopped after just 2 kilometers this morning to have breakfast in an ecological albergue that a friend had told me about. The old farmhouse was cozy and clearly renovated with an attention to its enviromental footprint.
It was heated via a wood fire under a large metal drum filled with volcanic rock, highly efficient. The ceiling was insulated with cork, held in place with crushed metal cans. Seedlings rested in repurposed wooden crates waiting to be transplanted to the organic garden. As I sat enjoying my piece of apple torta (yes, I ate cake for breakfast), I decided to stay.
I took a walk with Jeff, a volunteer from South Africa who has lived all over the world. He has spent the last month in this tiny little village of 15 people and is hoping to make it his permanent home. He took me up the hill on the other side of the valley, where we enjoyed picturesque views of the town I had come from this morning.
We explored a ruined church that a local tried to buy from the Catholic church in order to renovate it, but was denied.
I enjoyed lunch with Jeff and another volunteer, Kai, as well as the couple who bought and renovated this place four years ago, Marijn and Jessica, who met on their own pilgrimage and decided to open an ecological albergue.
I walked down to the creek and around each of the few buildings still standing in the village.
It was fun to explore at my leisure and without a pack on my back. I sat next to the heater most of the day, gazing out at the sylvan scene through the old leaded glass windows, petting Joanne the cat, chatting, rejuvenating.
The day was restful and peaceful, and I enjoyed every minute of the break.
Today I walked 3 miles.
Basically, you went as far as you wanted or needed to go for your own well being. Sometimes the shorter trip takes us to the right spot, even though we originally thought that the better goal was to just go further. I’m thankful for your insights and love that you’re so open with them. Its so cool that you spent such a wonderful day and could still look back and see from whence you came.
The best road is sometimes the road least traveled. Love you, Dad
This is a extract of a long poem of Rosalia de Castro, “Adios, rios, adios fuentes” (Goodbye rivers, goodbye sources). She was a spanish-galician writer (1833-1885). His literary work has a special lyricism and sensitivity. She was born in Santiago de Compostela and wrote the poem in honor of people who must migrate from Galicia to America. I only transcribe the poem in English, because the original is in galician language, and I had to translate it to the Spanish and then English, but you can read it in galician lenguage in internet. The galician language sounds very sweet and musical, as you’ll be checking in the accent of the locals.
My land , my land ,
land where I grew up,
Small orchard that I love
Litte fig trees I planted .
Meadows , rivers , trees,
pine forests that moves the wind,
cheeper birds ,
small houses that I love.
Mill of chestnut trees ,
of the local church .
where I gave you my love
Paths through corn fields
Bye bye forever !
Goodbye , glory! Farewell, happy !
I leave the house where I was born ,
I leave my small town I know,
To go to a world that I did not see !
Leaving friends to find strangers
I leave small valleys by sea,
finally I leave all how much I want to …
Who could not leave!