We woke up to a howling wind and the branches of the tree brushing up against the window. The rain was driving down in sheets and it looked cold enough to freeze the witches’ bosoms that we were sure lived in this village.
We made ourselves leave the warmth and comfort of our beds to get started on our day. We were so grateful that the heat had been turned on in our room, a first since we started on this trip. It seems in most places in Spain if it isn’t down right freezing the heat stays off.
We had breakfast in the cafe, toast and coffee with milk. The latte seemed more comforting in the cold weather than plain Americanos. We shared the dining room with two large groups eating at separate long tables. It seems we’ve hit the time and place where groups of middle aged retirees come to this part of the Camino to do short country walks and visit quaint Galacian villages.
With breakfast over we had no further excuses to linger and we headed out into the cold rainy morning. The first two hours were long. Descending and then ascending again with the rain pelting us and the winds blowing hard. Besides the regular pilgrims we came across several day hiking groups who had a van to pick them up at regular intervals if they got too wet or cold.
After the second hour we stopped for coffee and a snack. I was wetter from sweating under my rain gear than I was from the rain itself and thought about taking off a layer. However, the coffee and food were greatly regenerating and by the time we left I had cooled down enough to put back on all my layers. It was a good thing too for when we left the tavern the temperature had dropped and was colder yet. Being fortified with food and hot drink, though, I soon got into a stride and rhythm that was the best of the whole journey to date. The mist was so thick I could only see a few feet in front and back of me and the was rain coming down so hard I had to hold my head down to get through it, and it was wonderful. My body felt alive and all my earlier aches and bothers disappeared as I merged with the elements and walked with a grace and agility that was a joy to partake of. I think Lilly-Barb too had a similar experience which she shared with me at our next break.
We walked for another two hours before stopping at another restaurant for Galcian soup and amazing hot chocolate. Here again were other pilgrims as well as tour groups making a stop on their day’s itinerary. One woman from a group was drawn to Lil and they discovered they were both originally from Delaware. Lil later remarked that taking one of those tours would be like “death warmed over for her.”
The day had been beautiful. The morning started cold, wet and windy; mist masking the valleys below. By noon the fog had cleared and sun breaks were showing the emerald fields and stone fences that lay along the trail we walked on. This land is poor by the standards of other parts of the Camino we had been on. More like the French Camino with small farms and lonely stone villages. The path too was reminiscent of France with its rocky trails and steep inclines. By the time we stopped for lunch the sun was out and the sky a pristine blue with billowing white clouds.
We left the restaurant and the rest of the afternoon flew by. We arrived at our destination by 3:15 and remarked how easy the days hike had seemed. Lil’s foot had begun to bother her by now and it was a good time to stop. We’d made a reservation the day before and were happy to have done so for the place was full when we checked in. Yet another very nice room with a great bathroom and hot shower. Yeah!
Stretches, washing and no nap later we went in search of food. We found a small grocery and bought a few staples and then a restaurant. Here we had a light meal with two delicious desserts and came back to our nest. I to write and Lil to read.
Now is a good time for me to tell you about why I refer to Barb as Lilly. It began some years ago when doing a reading for Barb and I received the message that her essence name was Lilly. Since then we have joked about it and from time to time I have called her Lil or Lilly, which I think suits her well. This trip I saw Lilly emerge more and more; playful and at ease in herself, sweet, kind and funny, allowing and letting go to the flow of life, trusting its course. Calling her Lil seemed much more congruent to her spirit than Barb, which more reflects her yang aspect. And at one point Barb agreed that for the course of the journey she would be know as Lilly on the Way and would so introduce herself as such to those she met. It has been fun and she has been comfortable as Lilly, I think. We discovered that there are other associations with Lilly that are significant to her. She has always liked France and the flower of France is the lily, her mother’s name was Mary Lyle, and Lyle is another way of spelling Lil. Barb’s mother was a southern bell and though she passed many years ago, her spirit has been with us this trip. She is living amends by being loving and playful and encouraging Lilly to bring flair and swirl into her life!
Lil and Will on the Way! It is hard to believe that in less than a week, if the gods and St. James are allowing, we will be in Santiago and this journey together will be at an end. I think for both of us the adventure has been different than expected while also being deeply rich and fulfilling. We are now entering the Spiritual and last stage of the Camino so surprises yet may await us! Regardless we sure have had fun together!
Well the house is quiet and all are asleep. So it is time for me also to say:
Buenas Noches Amigos!
St. J on the way. Santiago cake yum! Contrast: the light and the dark on the Way.
Galicia. Ancient Galacian Church.