Day 32…. 7 th November….30 km.
Left Santa Catalina de Samoza…on a frosty morning..everything was white, it was -2degrees, rugged up ready for a big climb to the highest point on the Camino at Cruz de Ferro where the iron cross is…people place stones,photos of loved ones they have lost, or animals they have lost.
Walked for a way through farmland winding slowly up the hills, came to some very ancient villages. My first major stop was Plano Rabanel del Camino where I had brunch, used Google translate to ask her to cook me bacon and eggs, no where else was open. She was a very kind soul, I was the only one there. Then it started to climb quite steadily as we are going to 1500m . When I came to the last town called Foncebadon before the steepest part of the path , they were demolishing nearly the whole town, diggers knocking down buildings and making new roads, it felt weird energy. In fact I had to go sit in the grass and regroup myself to get my energy back to carry on. About 10 min later at top there were stones with messages and art work on the side of the road. Loving just walking on my own and taking in everything around me.
Some messages were:
“Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you are the most important person in your life.”
“Love good, heals you”
“Follow your heart.”
“I’m alive and it’s amazing.”
I carry onto the iron cross at Cruz de Ferro, feels good to be at highest point of Camino. I decide to video myself a wee message to family group.The sun is still shining but not for long, 5 min decent and it starts to rain. I am walking and thinking about the souls who have passed in my life, and out comes the most amazing rainbow. I stand for a while in gratitude of the signs I am given along The Way. It’s very cold and wet. The mist comes in and the track gets more difficult, it’s like walking down a shingle slide. It seems to go on forever, I will be pleased to have a hot shower and food when I finally get there, this place is very remote and I am the only person on the path, it’s getting late and I am tired. I arrive after 5pm and Hanz the Danish man is staying there too, he pleased to see me and I am pleased to see a few familiar faces. I shower and go for a drink in bar with the guys. There’s a German girl and Aussie girl too, so we all have a drink chat and then dinner. I am in bunk room, had tossed up taking single room but guy said it’s all woman in there so decide bunk room ok. Bad choice, one lady snored all night so we didn’t get much sleep.
Leave the albergue in the drizzle and cold, it’s fairly steep down hill till the next town. I start walking with Janine, we chat away as we walk. Peaceful morning, we hit Molinaseca where really old castle, lovely wee town with river running through and built next to the water. We stop and have a drink and pass the snoring lady from the night before. We both tired but bring our energy up by omhing before we hit the town. We carry on and follow the arrows, we see Ponferrada to the right, we get taken to left. Didn’t realise till that night we had taken scenic route 5 km longer.We still end up at the castle of Ponferrada..quite an amazing place, our lucky day, it’s Wednesday and free entry, we have all of 20 minutes before it will close for their daily sleep.We go straight to the room below the tower you can climb. I walk in and the energy hits me…been here before…it’s swirling…I try to take a photo and all I see is blue light. My camera won’t work, I go to entrance to see if it’s cause I am in side , but then camera only has white light.This was the place of the Knights Templar, Janine and I feel like we been here before together. We climb up the tower and no sooner we get there, a man arrives to throw us out. Not the first time I would imagine.
Then Janine tells me that she is reading The pilgrimage” by Paulo Coleho. He just been in book to this place and talks about the blue light ..Agape. I had been recommended the book but hadn’t got that far… here’s a quote from it.
“Agape is the love that consumes,” he repeated, as if that were the phrase that best defined this strange kind of love. “Martin Luther King once said that when Christ spoke of loving one’s enemies, he was referring to agape. Because according to him, it was ‘impossible to like our enemies, those who were cruel to us, those who tried to make our day-to-day suffering even worse.’ But agape is much more than liking. It is a feeling that suffuses, that fills every space in us, and turns our aggression to dust. “You have learned how to be reborn, how to stop being cruel to yourself, and how to communicate with your messenger. But everything you do from now on and every good result that you take with you from the Road to Santiago will make sense only when you have also experienced the love that consumes.” I reminded Petrus that he had said that there were two forms of agape. And that he probably had not experienced this first form, since he had not become a hermit. “You’re right. You and I and most pilgrims who walk the Road to Santiago, learning the RAM practices, experience agape in its other form: enthusiasm. “For the ancients, enthusiasm meant trance, or ecstasy—a connection with God. Enthusiasm is agape directed at a particular idea or a specific thing. We have all experienced it. When we love and believe from the bottom of our heart, we feel ourselves to be stronger than anyone in the world, and we feel a serenity that is based on the certainty that nothing can shake our faith. This unusual strength allows us always to make the right decision at the right time, and when we achieve our goal, we are amazed at our own capabilities. Because when we are involved in the good fight, nothing else is important; enthusiasm carries us toward our goal.”
Janine also told me she had just read about how he had meet a man called ” Angel” and then she meets me, who gives her some guidance. We carry on walking about 29 km I think , we are exhausted due to not much sleep, we stop and decide to get a taxi for next 5 km to our accommodation, it’s nearly 5 o’clock and I am feeling cold and hungry. We book into our accommodation and share a twin room with own bathroom. We meet up with our Danish and Norwegian friends for dinner