October 17 – I am developing quite the tan lines! From my socks and my shorts! Became quite apparent in a picture Tash took yesterday, and the sock line no longer disappears after a shower, so it isn’t dirt! I need to tape my shin tomorrow, so we shall see what lines develop from that!
We had decided yesterday that our stop today would be Casa Belen, a small (8 bed) albergue about 6km before Ribadesella, the normal recommended stopping point today. Again, partly due to not wanting to overdo it, and partly based upon recommendations. It is run by a couple originally from Germany who retired from their other work and opened this albergue about 3 years ago. It was the perfect stopping point!
I now have foot cushions for the balls of my feet. It totally helped the left foot, but made my right shoe a bit too tight. Every day a few adjustment! My backpack is lighter from having gotten rid of a few things (more on that in another post) and I am mostly used to carrying it. A few pains in the shoulders sometimes, but much better! However, my left shin has its more painful moments, and I hit some today. It was sore (both shins, actually) last year, and also in the beginning of this trip (before Bilbao). They got better until the sharp descent into Santillana del Mar, when the left one announced its displeasure again. I expected to be more sore after the 27 mile day, but it was surprisingly fine. Until today. Not too bad, but definitely grateful for 16 miles today!
The walk was another fairly pleasant one. Sometimes I feel guilty being here for how beautiful it is and for such a great experience I am having. Ocean, mountains, great people, wonderful coffee, etc. I really am blessed and trying to appreciate it and accept it for what it is.
It was a warm day, and dry. Quite a contrast to yesterday! We did take it a bit slower this afternoon and still arrived before 4p. Our hosts were wonderful! We were warmly welcomed and shown to our room. We were told where all facilities were and encouraged to do our laundry out in the sunny garden using their washing tubs. After everything was hung on the communal clothes line, we settled onto the lounge chairs provided and relaxed until nearly dinnertime. It was at this point I realized a lot of my pictures hadn’t uploaded and could not then figure out how to get them back. So, there will be pictures added soon!
Dinner was family style and so 5 of us – Tash, a pilgrim from France, our hosts, and I – sat in their dining room with candles and everything homey! We even had hot dish! Lots of salads and such at first, then the hot dish, then dessert. Brigitta (the wife and cook) was at the head of the table and I was to her left. Therefore, she kept putting more food on my plate and I couldn’t say no (especially because she usually offered while I had a bit in my mouth)! I had thirds! And dessert was ice cream! with stewed figs. Figs are quite popular here, I’ve noticed. I had been thinking of ice cream after it got quite warm, but we hadn’t passed another town before this albergue, so ice cream was a great treat!
After dinner, they had a type of prayer service/reflection in their little chapel on property. Then we brought in our laundry from the line. This is the first time we’ve slept out in the country and it was so dark we could even see the Milky Way. And, I saw a meteor! It was a great night!
I am constantly inspired by tales of your journey! Thank you SO much for taking the time to blog! Do you have your Magnificat with you? Today’s prayer made me think of you and how your pilgrimage is God’s metaphor for our own daily pilgrimages in each of our lives!
“O Lord, as we travel through this day of our life, our strength is in you; in our hearts are the roads to our eternal destination, the place where you dwell for ever with your people in joy and peace. Sustain us as we pass through the bitter valleys of suffering; shield us as dangers threaten; let us rejoice in the springs of living water which refresh us on our way. And keep us faithful until the journey’s end, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Andrea, you mentioned that you haven’t necessarily experienced the spiritual aspect of your Camino pilgrimage thus far, but I sure have! Through you, I am experiencing God’s providence anew in all the little joys He is bringing me in my “ordinary” life as sustenance in the bitter valleys! I am appreciating a warm shower with more gratitude! I am relishing the beauty if God’s creation, even though perhaps not AS beautiful surroundings! 😉 I am recognizing and appreciating the dozens of acts of kindness and hospitality shown to me everyday by friend and stranger. And most importantly, I am inspired to seek ways to BE hospitable to all I meet, so that all who see me might see not me, but the face of Jesus Christ!
Thank you again and may God continue to be with you, sister!😍🌞❤️