On the Seventh Day We Rested – Camino de Santiago del Norte

Posted: August 9, 2018 in Uncategorized
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After 100 miles (160 kms), a well needed rest day in Ribadesella, Spain.

Today could have been any delightful vacation day: instead of being startled from sleep by an alarm, we were awakened by both the bright sun and a cool mountain breeze streaming through our windows and into our room; we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with enough time for even two cups of café con leche; and then strolled the pebbled sands of the grand arc of a beach along the northern Atlantic coast of Spain. Today we are in the tourist town of Ribadesella but we are anything but tourists; we are peregrinos, pilgrims on a journey, here for a day to let our bodies rest and recover.

It’s been a full week since Beth and I set out from Santander on the Northern route of Spain’s ancient pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago. We’ve covered over 100 miles (160 kms), 20 of those miles we walked just yesterday!

We are often confronted by steep 150-250 meter inclines and declines. Our bodies are tired, our feet are blistered (and now taped and bandaged!). For three days, we suffered under a burning sun and oppressive heat wave that exhausted us even though we drank many liters of water and kept up on our electrolytes. Most of the places we stay at night are lovely but are not air-conditioned sometimes making sleep difficult.

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Sometimes the signs are hard to see, and the path is narrow . . . with an electric fence on either side!

As we walk each day, however, we notice pain less, or have learned to put it in its place as our souls are restored by the beauty of northern Spain. The sights of lush green mountains, ocean vistas, ancient Roman bridges, small towns and historic villages we encounter as walk the narrow and charming single lane roads through northern Spain are spectacular. España: So much beauty that I imagine even the poets run out of words to describe you!

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España: So much beauty that I imagine even the poets run out of words to describe you!

Photos don’t capture Spain’s elegant north coast either. Just the same I hope these pictures will help tell some of the story and give you a better sense of this past week along the Camino del Norte.

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Leaving the 13th Century town of Santillana del Mar – the oldest town in Spain (we were told) on a very warm and hazy morning. Preparing for another day of temperatures close to 90 degrees (32 celsius).

Buen Camino! Vaya con Dios!
Mark

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