Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Arca to Monte del Gozo

It starts raining at 5am and continues until about 7. I don´t mind, I´m under a nice warm blanket! It´s cloudy, but not raining after I have tea and start out on the path. It´s a quiet and cloudy morning and there are pilgims within sight in front and behind me all morning.

I manage to get only a few sprinkles of rain, and duck into a bar just as the rain picks up. By the time I finish with lunch, the sun is trying to peek out from under the clouds.

I make it to the Albergue in de Gozo just as it begins to rain again. I´m now only 4.5km from Santiago. The Albergue is set up in the style of barracks and seem to be pretty clean. There are several buildings able to house 300 or more.

As promised: Why people walk the Camino.

First, I´ll list the reasons I have heard so far.
(assume you see quotation marks, I can´t get it to work on this Spanish keyboard)

-I felt compelled
-I´m recently single and want to move to another state, walking to figure out where
-I just quit my job, what do I want to do now ( I heard this on more than one occasion)
-I just turned 50, my kids are all out of the house, what am I going to do with the next portion of my life
-For solitude
-Respite from spouse who has been ill for four years
-To come to terms with my past
-Life is too busy, it´s giving me time to slow down and think
-I just retired and want to do something else, walking to figure it out

I was sitting on the church steps in Portomarin when I had this conversation with a gentleman from Florida:
-I just lost my son (one of two) 5 months ago, I´m walking for him, lighting 100 candles in churches along the way.
This last one really stuck with me, I was celebrating my son´s wedding 5 months ago and gained a daughter, and this man lost his son. My heart went out to him. I can´t imagine what his walking must be like.

Some people, I think, know exactly why they are walking the Camino. Others feel compelled to do it, not fully understanding the reasons, but it becomes clear (or clearer) as they walk. And then, I think there are those who walk, and after they have completed their journey, the reasons start to emerge, maybe a week, months, or even years later.

So, those are just a few reasons people come to Spain for this journey.

Until next time...


  1. Terri--soooo looking forward to tea w. you! I pray you remember each and every step you take on this journey! including the falls, the rain, the cold and no food...those things just help us make us stronger and wiser...GOT TO TELL MYSELF THAT ONE OVER AND OVER LATELY!!i love you. angela

  2. Thanks for sharing the different reasons people walk the Camino. Slowing down and getting deeper into life, instead of running fast on the surface sounds really good to me. Part of it is making myself slow down. I leave for a teaching conference in Bloomington, IN tomorrow through Saturday. Hopefully, a walk though the IU campus will bring some nice slow down and smell the roses time. Thinking of you, love, Shelly

  3. (Actually, not Phill, Mevanee . . .)Very interesting reasons for people choosing to walk the pilgrimage. Which reasons do you see for yourself? Or do you know yet? Sounds like some people figure out their reasons years later. Also, I wondered if there is a reason you are holding out for Thursday as your arrival in Santiago? Is it a special day or celebration there or was that the plan you developed before you went to Spain? Pray you are enjoying all of your journey! Mevanee

  4. Terri,
    4.5 km is literally just a hop, skip and a jump for you. That seemed to go by fast. The fact that people actually take out time to think is a novel concept. We could all use more time to do that. Time with God did not seem to be a prominent theme in your list and I wonder if people equate time to reflect as spending time with God, especially considering that many of them must be Catholic. Was this a transformative spiritual experience for you, a personal one, both or neither - or as Mevanee asked, do you even know the answers to those questions yet? I'm sure it must have been transformative in many way, I'm curious as to how you feel it has impacted your life. Look forward to talking to you.