16 days of walking brings me to just under halfway of my journey to Santiago de Compostela. The mountains have given way to expansive plains and, although my phone is no SLR camera, I think the picture does the past few days’ scenery justice. I find myself in awe of the massiveness of it all.
It has been a bit of strange week weather wise, for the first 4 days the temperature hardly peaked above 10 ℃ and now it is 27℃ with clear skies. We have slept in barns, churches, nunneries and a very strange man’s house.
I was speaking with a friend recently who said the Camino can be split into 3 stages. The First is the physical challenge, tall mountains, rolling hills and a body screaming for mercy as you relentlessly drive yourself forward. The Second is the mental challenge, monotonous days of walking on exposed flat plains, with no end in sight. The Third is spiritual realisation and I’m not quite sure what that will entail but hopefully I will in a few weeks. I am now certain i have now reached the Second stage, my body has hardend to the reality of the physical challenge. Blisters turn to callouses, sore muscles turned strong (supposedly), and lungs cleared of the London smog, but despite all these things the days seem even harder. Harder not because of a physical challenge, because you know you can do it, but because you know there is no respite in sight. The fields and tracks begin to feel endless and unremarkable. Yesterday I walked 17km, through what in my mind was the same field, before finding a town or any sign of civilisation. It is this kind of repetitive landscape that now provides the challenge. What is the purpose? Why am I even doing this? And can somebody get me a proper beer? I suppose I will find out soon enough.
By next week I will have more to say!