With only 80 miles /134km remaining before reaching Santiago de Compostela, people get kind of crazy – as if competing to “arrive” first.
To make matters more interesting today is the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. James (Santiago) so there were tons of people trying to make it on time. There will be another batch of party-rockers between now and the 29th since the celebration continues.
So like being caught up in any mass hysteria, I got shoved along by the momentum.
Today was thoroughly miserable for me. I was already feeling rung out from the previous days of pushing myself and then I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
I thought I might do as I always do tired or not – just slog the full 24 k today like taking a prescription medication. I just prayed that I would at least find a tranquil place to revive myself.
7 k away from my goal I came upon a place that drew me in and I knew my prayers had been answered. Later when I looked in my guide it literally states that this is “an oasis of peace and tranquility”. It is called the “Alburgue de Paloma y Leña”.
All of the beauty and the nurturing environment drew me in. Hammocks, a piano (which I played), cats, a beautiful lounge, unlimited beverages, the family, the clean welcoming rooms…paradise on a budget!
I realized while marinating in the juices of this place that I really needed to regroup. I was becoming pretty miserable and not enjoying myself one bit.
To make matters more interesting, I had a delightful conversation with an Anglican priest who also informed me that the paramount event of Pilgrims mass in Santiago – the “swinging of the gigantic incense burner” only happens Friday’s at 7:00pm mass. I would arrive on Wednesday at my current pace, so I have one more reason to slow down.
So, I learned my lesson. Slow down. Go at YOUR pace. Have a great conversation and equally good food. Remember to stay present and enjoy the journey.
The destination is the journey.
Buen Camino — aneternaltraveler 😉