Guest blog today by Chuck while Li gives her wrist and thumbs a rest. My post is likely to be a few broad strokes and random thoughts rather than a daily account.
Prior to starting the Camino I heard people referring to the movement from physical to mental to spiritual. In the early stages I was definitely absorbed in the physical but not necessarily my own physical state. It was the physical surroundings that kept me engaged. The change from pastoral mountain scenes to forests, to olive groves and vineyards, to farmland kept my interest as you can well imagine from Li's photos. I have to admit that it felt like a vacation. . . just with a lot of walking.
Taking the journey on foot gives a person ample time to note the changes in culture, language, food and architecture as we move across northern Spain.
As we move into the Meseta, the scenery is not as engaging as evidenced by the photo.
Even the most superficial Pilgrim's thoughts would have to turn inward to deal with the boredom. How boring you ask? It was soooo boring that at one point Li said she was going to stop for a pee, even though she didn't have to go, just to break up the monotony.
Despite the visits to numerous cathedrals I think the spiritual is yet to come. The cathedrals are absolutely stunning in their art and architecture but I find my thoughts hung up on the vast amounts of money required for their construction. Were these magnificent structures of the medieval era built to the glory of God or to further the power, ego or political influence of the kings, bishops and wealthy who supported their construction. What is their modern-day equivalent? Could it be the "Trump" towers of today built to further financial or political power?
The Museum of Evolution in Burgos was another experience that sparked a great deal of mental churning. To walk over the same ground and see artifacts of our hominid ancestors of nearly a million years ago was mind blowing. They were already shaping what would become humanity with their ability to work together, the crafting of tools and their burial rituals. How often have our tribes come together and then be torn apart? Why are the clashes inevitable and seemingly endless? Why can't we just get along?
On the Camino we have met people from 28 countries. So far I have not witnessed one clash and that even includes the divergent walkers and bikers!
Life on the Camino is not suffering and sacrifice. I am reminded again and again of how much we have to be thankful for. The abundance of good food and wine is such that the cruise home will be an opportunity for me to cut back.
Li will be back tomorrow so for now . . . Buen Camino