Day 34 Reservoir Within

Monday Oct 31. Vilalba to Miraz. 9 hours 20 mins, 35.8km (30 mins lunch stop).

The weather forecast was for rain in the morning till 12pm. The forecast was spot on, though the rain came and went multiple times.

We started walking at 8.37am. One of those moments when the rain/drizzle let up at 9.06am. I was happy to observe the winds blowing the rain clouds behind us. It wasn’t long before I realized there were more rain clouds in front of us.

The rain was mainly a light drizzle, not a downpour. We found that umbrellas are more effective than raincoats as they keep our backpacks out of the rain too. Unless it’s too windy.

It’s an experience to walk 3.5-4.0 hours through intermittent rain and drizzle. Fortunately there weren’t many muddy stretches nor significant puddles. Soaked shoes, socks and feet can force one’s attention ‘downward’, which may counter the uplifting of spirit that the Camino brings about.

The route took us through the countryside and small villages. A small village could be a cluster of 6-8 homes with the road passing right through the middle. There were forested paths, open countryside paths and country roads. Traffic on latter was non existent in the early and middle stages.

At about the half way mark of 18km, we reached Baamonde at about 1pm. We saw and greeted a pilgrim who was sitting on a step and applying some tape on his leg; he was likely experiencing shin splints. Joon had twinges off this too, but it was tolerable for her. We took the opportunity for a pizza lunch stop and bought some provisions as the next day was a public holiday (which Hiro had informed us several days ago).

We came across a horreo that had netting on the sides. You can see the corn stacked inside.

As we started the second leg at 1.30pm after lunch, we knew we had another 18km to go. Based on terrain (i.e. ascents/descents similar to the morning’s, I mentally estimated we would reach our destination between 5.30pm – 6.00 pm). Bearing in mind we had already expended energy in the morning.

On the Camino, this stage was the longest in terms of distance. That is not necessarily the hardest as the terrain was not so mountainous as other stages. But the distance still makes it a challenge especially when one has issues like shin splints or corns on one’s foot.

This is really when one needs to draw upon one’s inner reservoir. As Joon aptly put it, we can only draw out what we had previously stored in it.

There’s a mental, physical and emotional drawing that one has to pull out during the Camino. Unlike a fuel gauge that can tell how far more the car can travel based on the remaining fuel, our inner reservoir has no such gauge. And we generally always surprise ourselves! Clearly, there’s a spiritual drawing upon for some of us too.

In Life, there are many elements competing to be stored in one’s ‘external’ reservoir. Money has become too common the major make up of many reservoirs. Perhaps in subscribing to the philosophy that ‘Money solves many problems’, we may become susceptible to the cousin-philosophy that ‘Everyone has a Price.’ Goodwill with fellowmen is a very neglected reservoir element.

Our countryside path led us past several aside trees. There were a couple on the ground that looked edible but Joon wisely pointed out that it’s better to pluck from the tree. We walked on.
But from this and other apple skin peelings, we can presume that someone took advantage of the bounty!
We passed this 14th century Sanctuario with a fountain tap (in foreground). Latter is called the ‘Fuente de San Alberte). It supposedly had healing properties on those with speech impediments!
Roman bridge, Ponte de San Alberte; nearby to the Fuente de San Alberte.
The opposite home owner had set up this rest area for pilgrims. Extremely thoughtful.
A blessing plaque in rest area.
Was it the tree or the blue sky that was calling out to me when I came upon this scene? In Life, don’t we tend to go with one or the other, not realizing both can provide a complete picture?

We reached our accommodation at 5.38pm. The lodging proprietor was expecting us. We gratefully checked in, had a good wholesome dinner (found in such rural settings), and slept for 9 plus hours.

Postscript – I need to consciously reflect what and how I am filling up my reservoir.

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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