After writing my blog yesterday, I had an experience that was really touching for me. I went to the pilgrims mass and for the second time in my life, I received the pilgrims blessing at the mass. The first time was almost three years ago when I was on the road trip that started this blog. I was visiting a friend in Illinois and met one of the priests prior to the Sunday mass, and he asked me to come up for the Pilgrims blessing. Both of these pilgrimages have been events that I felt in my heart that I had to do. In both cases I took the leap of faith and accepted the unknown, knowing that it wasn’t going to be easy. This pilgrimage is definitely more of a physical challenge so far.
Today, I hit the trail a little later than yesterday. I ate breakfast and then hit the trail around 7:40. The day started out the same way that yesterday ended… Raining… But you know, I honestly enjoyed walking in the rain. As you are walking under a canopy of trees, listening to the raindrops hitting the leaves, it is very peaceful. At exactly 9:00, the sun broke through the clouds. The sun felt nice on my skin and I was looking forward to taking off my raincoat and rain pants. At 9:02, the sun was back behind the clouds again. I had a good laugh and kept walking. The sun did eventually come out in the afternoon and I was able to take off my rain gear and let it dry.
Today was not as difficult of a walk as yesterday, but it was definitely no walk in the park either. Even though there wasn’t as much elevation gain, there were a lot of hills and steep inclines. My feet are definitely starting to ache, and my muscles are sore. I know this is part of the experience and that either it will get better, or I’ll just get used to it! My final distance for the day was 18.5 miles on the trail, and almost 21 miles including off trail at the albergue, marketplace, and exploring Larrasoaña.
With this much time in the silence of nature, I found myself reflecting on time. Here on the Camino, I am on “Camino time”: I eat when I am hungry, even if I ate only an hour ago, to keep my energy up I need to consume the calories to replace the ones I’ve burned… (Though, I have had to begin adjusting to 24 hour time since they have their schedules with “dinner at 19:00”. And yes, lunch at 9:30am is totally acceptable; if I need to take a break I’ll take it; when the sun is up in the morning, so should I! And this is only day two! I know that what I learn further on is going to be much more than I can comprehend right now.