Wednesday Caldas de Reis to Padron (Day 10)

Today’s route was 19km/11.4miles, with a slightly higher summit at 160meters. We are getting into a rhythm, leaving at 7.30am. Because it was a pension stay at Caldas de Reis without breakfast, we decided to buy provisions for our own breakfast, as well as for rest stops. Our home made jambon (serrano ham) and cheese sandwiches provided more than adequate fuel for our body during today’s rest stops. We arrived at 1.15pm in Padron.

Getting out of Caldas de Reis was a breeze compared to the larger towns. We crossed a bridge, which provided a photo opportunity.

Bridges over rivers and streams, especially those scaled for pedestrian traffic, do add character to a town. I will miss this when I am back in USA.

The morning walk out into the wooded trails was especially delightful this morning, as we could see distant hills. There was a light mist with the morning light. We could differentiate about 4 different ‘layers’. A way to train the eyes is to imagine one has to paint the various green hues and shades, from the grass to the shrubs,, to the trees in the various layers (at different distances). Even within a single tree or shrub, one can detect various hues of green.

Contemplative Joon made the point that it was light that enabled us to see these trees and layers. Spiritually, our heart enables us to see others with compassion. Religiously, our faith enables us to see the hand of our God in our Lives.

We had touched on hearing in yesterday’s post and seeing in the preceding paragraph. As we were walking this morning, an elderly Italian man came up to me as I had paused on the road for Photographer Joon. He passed some green ‘leaves’ in his hand into my hand, and motioned for me to smell them. It was mint-like in smell, and helped invigorates one for the walk. We learned it was ‘fennel? Here’s a picture of him and Joon.


An unexpected reach out added smells to our walk. Is there a hidden hand ensuring all our senses are ‘activated’ on our Camino walk?

We have started encountering more cyclists since yesterday and today, a mix of those on Camino with their packs over the back wheels, and those that belong to a cycling group for a days outing. On an uphill road, a latter group appeared, wishing us and the other Camino pilgrims, “Buen Camino”. The leader in the group was an obvious extrovert and ham. He cycled towards me as he saw me standing ready to take a picture of this group. See below picture.

He actually cycled within 3 feet of me with his hands up! Love his personality!!

It’s hard cycling uphill, and most of us will have two hands on the handles as we push ourselves. I will describe this as I was not able to take a picture as the group passed us, but I saw a couple cycling next to each other. The man had one hand on the handle, and other was on the back of his partner, supporting and pushing her from the back. That’s love.

As we were walking down a dirt path next to a freeway, I noticed there was a single man walking by himself. We slowed down to allow him to catch up, and just had a chat. He’s Tim from Germany, and we recognize him from yesterday when he was walking with his partner. Thoughts that a relationship argument flashed through my mind, as I had just read recently on a FB Group of such a break up. Fortunately, that was not the case. Tim explained that he and his partner that today was the day that each would have individual time to walk the Camino alone, so that each can reflect and contemplate. With that known, we wish him well, and he sped off as we resumed our tortoise-pace. What a priceless gift from and for each other.

Everyone decides their Camino experiences and moments. There’s no tour guide, no detailed map. Carpe Diem.

Three German ladies enjoying the sun and valley views.

We had been eating pretty well the past couple of nights. But the rich and ample portions were getting too much for our stomachs. Thus, our home-made sandwiches of jambon and cheese was the perfect antidote for today’s lunch and rest breaks. We felt better, and walked just as well. On reflecting, the same could apply to Life too. Too much luxury, too much self-indulgence over an extended period, damages one. Perhaps such damage doesn’t manifest itself immediately or in the short term, but like a tooth cavity/rot, it insidiously works itself deeper. When the tooth rot reaches the nerves, the bill needs to be paid. Be it yourself, or your loved ones.

As we near Santiago, we are seeing more discarded items left by backpackers. I won’t honor them with the pilgrim label as they could have left these in albergues or in trash cans.

A pair of shoes, a fleece sweater, etc. We sometimes carry more than necessary. Perhaps there’s another un-seen monument, piled with emotional baggage, relationship hurts and grudges. That will be a most beautiful monument indeed, one that cannot be photographed but is just as real.

Gadget Joon loves her Fitbit. It tells her the distance throughout the walk, and more importantly, the amount and quality of her sleep. It would be suicidal of me to try and pry this from her wrist. The ear plugs that I provided to her, has saved my bacon too!

I must report a mini-miracle. All of you following the Camino posts, have read about Mr. Left Hip. We have been taking Ibuprofen since the start of the Camino. And I had been adjusting the straps to center my backpack. Well, other than a one second twitch on an uphill climb, I absolutely and positively did not hear any squeak from Mr. Left Hip. I wonder.

Today was a relaxing walk, despite some higher heights. The early arrival allowed me to catch up and finish the book that I bought in Porto. The resolution in the story didn’t augment my Camino reflections, and perhaps a second reading at a later point in time may.

Spanish food is plain and delicious. Our taste buds adjusted to not having chilli sauces/paste with every entree. And with that, bon appetit.

Jambon (ham) on melon.


Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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