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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Practical Camino and an Update

Since the clouds lifted and the rain ended around 10 am on Sunday as we descended from O´Cebrerio with its partially 9th Century Church (the oldest extant church associated with the Camino), we have had two glorious days of walking.  The views on Sunday as we walked were stunning as we could see green pastures and woods all around us for miles.  On Monday, we were a bit lower walking through high hills or small mountains, along chestnut tree lined paths with moss covered stone hedges, along mountain rivers and through little villages.  The roofs here are slate, which is in abundance and not the red tile associated with much of Spain.  Sunday as we awoke to fog and moderate rain, I could tell spirits were starting to sag among the 100 or so pilgrims in the albergue.  We had been walking for the better part of five days with overcast skies and some form of moisture - at least mist.  Our clothes were wet and dirty.  So the sun came just in time. 

On Sunday we did have our first encounter with mean unleashed dogs.  Mark and I were walking along a path maybe 15 feet off the road and 6 feet above it when we heard dogs barking (not unusual) and then we heard a woman screaming at the dogs.  She was on the road with her two trekking poles up fending off two big dogs and doing a great job of it.  Mark helped out by picking up a big rock and throwing it in the direction of the dogs (missing the woman) and scaring them off.

A reader asked me to provide some details of the practical path - what I packed, when I walk, etc.  The basic packing list (all clothes are quick dry) includes:  two pair of underwear, two pair of pants (one with zip off legs), two shirts, three pair of socks, boots, sandals or flip flops for evening and shower, toilet paper just in case, a towel, soap, sleeping bag, pillow case, flashlight, clothes pins, first aid kit, safety pins, plastic bags to put the above in, and water bottle.  Because of the time of year I walking, I also have couple of heavier layers of clothing, a wind-rain jacket, and water proof pants. I also brought a camera and I have a European cell phone but keep it off most of the time except calling home or communicating with Mark and Bill (one day Mark took a different route than Bill and I and called to tell us where he was waiting for us).  I think that is the complete list.

At this time of year, pilgrims can walk throughout the day, often arriving at their day´s destination after 5pm  During the summer, my sense is that pilgrim´s walk early arriving by noon or early afternoon to avoid the heat and to assure themselves a place to stay because the route is more crowded.  Pilgrims first started coming to Santiago in the 9th century and during the middle ages it was one of the three main pilgrim destinations (Rome and Jerusalem being the others) with millions making the way.  The Camino has gained modern popularity in the last 20 years or so with 100,000 (I think) finishing the route last year.  When St. James´feast day is on Sunday as it will be in 2010, the number of pilgrim´s increase  by at least 50 percent.  Some are predicting 200,000 pilgrims next year. 

My next post will focus on my two caminos - alone and with my compadres Mark and Bill.  Saturday, I offered my walk for all those suffering from chronic or debiltating diseases, Sunday for an end to abortion and the healing of all those implicated in the taking of innocent preborn life, and yesterday for an end to the death penalty.

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Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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