On the morning of day 14, we had decided to ride the bus for about 15 – 17 kms, stop at a village alongside the highway, and then walk 4 kms to Atapuerca, our next planned destination. My feet needed a very short day. As we were checking out of the hotel, in Villafranca, the desk clerk asked if we were going to have breakfast and we said, no, we have to catch the bus.
I think when pilgrims begin their journey they are all pretty much naive as to what’s to come. You can do your homework, read blogs, books and websites, take in as much as you can in an attempt to ready yourself for such a journey. But the reality, my friends, the reality is so vastly different than the best of any words of any pilgrim who has walked the way.
On Day 1 as we began to ascend the pass over the Pyrenees (and I was barely breathing) a man came up from behind us, greeted us with the international “Buen Camino” and passed by. But then he turned back and asked where we were from and the conversation went a little something like this.
Right, left, right, left, one step at a time I dragged my body into the courtyard of the convent of Roncevaux. I was the last one in our group of walkers to pass through the gate and as I did so a woman was smiling and waving me forward, while a man approached me.
Could there be a hotter topic right now than the nuclear talks between the US and Iran?! What a time in history to visit this fascinating, yet hugely misunderstood country. But we were there, we heard the people in the streets, the honking of the horns and the firecrackers being set off as the news unfolded of the framework deal moving forward in a positive direction.