Rabe de Las Calzadas to Castrojeriz*

Apr 13. Day 18. 27.4 km. Departed at 0740 hours, arrived at 1308 hours.The famed ‘Meseta’ section starts from Rabe de Las Calzadas. The Meseta stretches to the horizon, with a uniform feature and landscape.

Early meeting sunlight warmed up the trails before us.

Even the trees were welcoming the sunrise

About an hour and twenty minutes, we reached the top of the first ascent for today. A gorgeous view of the valley before unfolded before us.

Joon and the valley views

Note the descent.

As we climbed back up, we could see the hill top that we descended in the horizon!

After this valley views, the section was mainly flat except for one more steeper ascent.

What an excellent opportunity to contemplate, as one will be walking 5-6 hours.

Today’s reflections is about a particular state. If I ask one to reflect on the happiest or joyful moments in life, most if not all, can readily recall such moments. Examples of former might be weddings, of latter, the birth of one’s children.

What about being in a state of inner peace? Total peace with one self. This might be a more difficult task.

Achieving this may require one to consciously consider two balms – Giving and Seeking Forgiveness.

All of us have suffered hurt, pain and perhaps injustices. Unfortunately, if we harbor anger, retribution, Unforgiveness, we allow these to perpetuate and cause life long damage. Even if the offender doesn’t seek forgiveness, by forgiving, we cleanse ourselves of these scars. Peace begins to reign in our hearts. Gandhi said, ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong’.

Sometimes, we may be the offending party and thereby, harbor guilt. If possible, seek forgiveness from those we have hurt. If one is of faith, seek forgiveness from God too. Complete Peace comes over one.

There two Greek words that can convey the concept of forgiveness. The first has the nuance of ‘graciously conferring a gift upon another’. The second had the nuance of ‘letting go’.

Let Go, Be at Peace.

Looking back can shed a light that guides our forward progress.

To end, there are three other factors that influence the difficulty of a day’s walk, besides the distance. First is the weather (rain, windy, cloudless sunny day, etc). We were very fortunate that it was mostly a still day with a light breeze (despite passing wind turbines that were installed at ground level where we passed, not on distant hill tops). Secondly, is the elevation changes and the gradient of the ascent/descent. Most of the gains were by gentle inclines. Finally, is the terrain itself. We had a rocky uneven section of 2-3 km which puts a lot of stress on the ankles, knees and soles. Good footwear mitigates somewhat. But it feels good at the end of the walk to put on sandals!

TIP: Supermercados close at 2pm Sat and all day Sunday. Learning this the hard way.

We look forward to the rest and sleep tonight.

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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