I know you’re all dying to read the next post – sorry for the wait; I didn’t have wifi at last night’s albergue. It was attached to a beautiful old cathedral and works by donation (generally we pay 8-12€ a night), so was a little old-school and totally sweet. For dinner we had a community meal where we all prepared/cooked/helped in whatever ways we could. As pilgrim life doesn’t necessarily have to mean we cut out all class, my contribution was jazzing up the table a little with some serviette sprucing that turned out to be a major entertainment point. Thanks Mumma for teaching us girls well 😉
Yesterday’s walk was short and sweet. Not distance short – still walked just over 22kms – but I left pretty early, and legged it with some of the fast others, so we got into town at 11:10ish 🙌🏽
We bonded over our pace, as my two comrades and I went up up up and passed everyone we came across. I know this isn’t a race at all.. But it was fun racing each other anyway! I think I found it extra special because Jorge is Spanish, Gradziya is French (please mind my spelling there!) and I am the Aussie. None of us could speak much of each others’ language well at all, but you wouldn’t have realised if you’d seen us laugh and talk and gesture wildly. Oh man, I’ve picked up talking with my hands hey! It’s a bit comical, realising how even my communication is changing – and knowing I’ll look like an excited fool for quite some time when I get back 😉
The day before, when I got to talk to Jarryd, he asked how many sunsets and sunrises I’d seen.. As we are walking west and I’m not too keen on turning backward, I realised I’d been missing some of the beauty of the journey. Looking back and to see what I have passed through: whether it be a town I have quickly fallen in love with, a desolate rocky valley that seemed to take an age to cross, a mountain climb that I hated or the sun sending its first rays up over the horizon gives me more appreciation. I am making progress.
Hindsight is not dwelling in the past, unless you stay there. Don’t be afraid to look back, or you’ll miss treasures from your new vantage point of ground already conquered.
The albergue we stayed at was special. Every night they hold a Mass for pilgrims, and the priest blesses each one who desires to step forward and receive. We go back to the dining room to share our meal, and then to the cathedral again through a secret underground passage (so cool!) where we all have a moment together to reflect on the day, speak out the hymn and prayer in our own tongue, and get our credentials stamped.
The cathedral is exquisite, and acoustics unbelievable. Glen, Iley and myself were the last of the fourty or so pilgrims to leave, and all of us were bursting to sing and give the acoustic architecture a go.. Ask and ye shall receive!
One of the brothers (is a Catholic guy who’s not yet a priest called a brother? Not sure on specifics there) sat down in a pew off to the side to give us free reign, and sing we did! Oh man, you can hear a pen drop from the back of the hall, so when the three of us got into it, it was magical! And so special to get to have privacy in such a vast space – no one else to notice when we missed the note or got our harmonies a little off pitch (the acoustics were also incredibly unforgiving for even the slightest off note).
Every day is holding countless special moments that I wonder if I will be able to remember them all.
This morning has already held some, but I shall save them until the day is done and I’m ready to write it all to you.