Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A typical day on the Camino

In this post, I´ll give you a taste of the typical day of a pilgrim on the camino followed by my variations on the theme.  We sleep in pilgrim albergues (refugios or hostels).  The one in Roncesvalles (after our first day of walking) was one big room with bunk beds for 100 or so.  At this place (run by the Dutch confraternity of St. James) lights were turned off at 10pm and turned on at 6 am. The albergues are run by a parish, a country´s confraternity, an order of priests or nuns, the town, or private persons.  They  cost between a donation and about 8€.  Most of the alberques have several rooms with about 10 bunks each.

In the morning there are those who get up before the lights come on and attempt to pack their packs by flashlight.  We leave just before or just after daybreak and eat breakfast at a bar/cafe or food purchased the night before or in one case so far the albergue provided us breakfast.  After a day and a half of walking with others, I have walked alone with limited conversation during the day except to change pleasantry´s or to be checked on by others or to check on them.  By now, most of us have some ailment - blisters, bad knees, hurting shoulders, chafing.

I would guess that over half the people doing the Camino came alone ad walk alone.  Some walking groups have been formed here (like the one I had the first day and a half), there are some couples, some parents and adult children , cousins and friends.  Some have come just for a week or two and will complete the journey in future years.  Others as I mentioned have walked from their houses in Germany and France.  During the day, I´ll see people I know several times a day as I pass them or they pass me as we take different breaks.  Sometimes their will be a communal picnic of a small group or a small group will gather for coffee or lunch on they way.

For the first three days we walked in the Pyrannes through  fields, forests, and villages. (and Pamplona - the Univ. of Naverre is beatiful)  Two and a half of the last three days were through Oklahoma size mountains aand all of the last three days have been in vineyards, olive groves and ploughed fields.  The grapes, howevr, have yet to be harvested. 

When we arrive at our daily destination - sometimes exhausted - the routine is the same:  shower and wash clothes before anything else.  At a couple of alberques the folks running it offer medical treatment for feet - threading blisters bandaging people up.  After shower and clothes washing, some sit outside, some rest, some read, talk, journal, have a beer.  In the evening, most of us eat a local eater offering a pilgrims menu of an appetizer (salad, soupl, pasta), a main course (meat of some kind) wine, and desert for around 10€.  THe eating is done together and this is where most conversation takes place.  English, French and Spanish seem to be the most common languages at the table.  Many of the albergues have a kitchen and we have shared a common cooked meal, and I suspect we will do more of thesame.

As you might imagine we are a collection of characters on the Camin.  Maybe more on that latger.

An hour or two after I start walking, I usually stop take off my boots and pray morning prayer. Yesterday, I sat beside a Roman road just up from the Roman brdge we crossed, reminding me as I prayed that the pilgrims over the last 1000 years were traveling roads created by the Romans long before.  In the afternoon - usually when I am tired in the last 5K, I pray the rosary offer a decade for each of my four children and for my wife.  I have also started offering the day for a different people.  Yesterday it was my family of origin, today it was for a group of men and woman who suffer the terrible affliction of addiction.  I don´t know who or what will be pressed upon my heart tommorrow.

Finally, many towns we stay in offer mass at 8pm, and some - probabalbly less than half - take advantage.  After gtwo 30K days in a row, I am exhausted so I´ll sign off for now.


Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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