Sarria, the last 100 kms. Thirty days later and we’re still here. We’re still walking the Camino de Santiago. Yesterday we reached the 100 marker. Just 100 kilometers to go!

Why Do Cows Moo?

Our favorite time on the Camino is the morning.  We are not particularly early risers, but most mornings we are walking by 8:00 a.m.  We walk in silence, we watch and we listen. The harmony of Mother Nature’s symphony orchestra of coo-coo birds and hoot owls and bullfrogs and crickets and the sweet chirp of a multitude of birds fills our ears.  We hear cows moo – do you know why cows moo?  I googled it.  You should too.

We hear sheep bleat, dogs bark, cats meow, chickens cluck and roosters crow.  By the way, I am completely convinced roosters have no idea what time it is.  It’s our time on the Camino to just walk and lose ourselves in our thoughts.  And listen.

Camino de Santiago
Stillness on the Camino
On Any Given Day

When we started this journey – one month ago today – we would walk for hours and not see another person.  We’d stop at a cafe and maybe 3 or 4 other pilgrims would be there.  Each historic village we would walk through, the locals would put out the welcome mat for us. Maybe, on any given day, we’d see a total of 50 pilgrims.  I’m sure there were more out there, we just didn’t cross paths. We didn’t know how fortunate we were to be given that time, 3 1/2 weeks, of peace on the Camino.  Turns out it was quite the gift.

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For the past few days there has been a change in the air.  Each morning we feel it growing; more and more pilgrims on the Camino.  Two days ago 50 high school students started walking and we were caught in the mass throughout the day.  It’s as if everyone popped out of nowhere and started walking.  We’d heard stories from experienced pilgrims and we’d read about walking the Camino de Santiago beyond Sarria.

Camino de Santiago – Sarria

Just west of Sarria is the 100 km point.  Anyone who walks at least 100 km receives a compostela upon reaching Santiago, so Sarria is where everyone laces up and hits the trail. Moms, Dads, grandparents, kids, couples, soloists, even babies are walking the Camino.

Camino de Santiago
Even babies are walking the Camino de Santiago

Instead of three or four pilgrims at a cafe, there are 30 – 40.  There are lines for the WC and yesterday, as I walked into a cafe to use the WC – something I’ve done since day 1 – the proprietor put his hands up and told me to slow down! Let’s just say he didn’t have the Camino spirit and we’ll leave it at that.

There is a very different vibe in the air.  Pink sneakers with matching ball caps and pony tails and skin tight black spandex leggings have become the norm.  No disrespect to pink sneakers, I’m just setting the scene a bit.  Groups of friends are now on the Camino, large groups, loud groups, groups that talk incessantly and plow by you at a marathon pace.  What’s the hurry?!

Camino de Santiago
What’s the hurry?
Too Much Noise

There is an unspoken philosophy on the Camino, do not judge anyone’s Camino.  I get it.  I respect it.  It’s hard not to judge, however, when a man walks up behind me puffing a nasty cigar, or I can’t help but overhear a conversation behind me about how her sister used to post photos of her cleavage on her FB page, or a group of bicyclists roll right up behind me. Add in the clickity clack of walking sticks and cell phones ringing…  I can’t escape it.  Their journey is impacting my journey.  There is too much noise.

But still we walk.  It’s a different journey now, but still we walk and isn’t that what life is all about?  When one way gets too noisy, we find another way.

May 9, 10, 11, 12

Days 28, 29, 30, 31

We walked 55 miles

Highest elevation: 3,000′

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