Leaving Grandas de Saline this morning for Fonsegrada – a good 25 km hike – our group of pilgrims spotted a familiar face. It was Frans from the Czech Republic, cheerful as ever and still going his pace.
He arrived at the Albergue the previous night at 9 pm as most of the other pilgrims were getting ready for bed. For the past two days we had been wondering about him. The guy is amazing, limping, red-faced, his back hurting. If he has made it so far I’m sure he will manage the remaining 160 km to Santiago. Its amazing what will power and a positive mindset can do. I call him the hero of the day.
Compared to the previous stages, the route to Fonsegrada is a relatively easy walk, taking us from the province of Asturias to Galicia. In Asturias the Camino scallop shell, that serves as the route marker along with the yellow arrow has the longest line of the shell pointing to Santiago with all the other lines symbolising the different routes on the St. James Way. In Galicia the shell points in the other direction which is sometimes confusing.
For the past few days I’ve been walking with Patricia from Germany. She has walked the Camino three times and she is an excellent help as she speaks fluent Spanish. Every morning at the start of our walk and climbing another steep hill I hear her mumbling: ‘This is my last Camino!’ Well I’ve taken a bet with her that she will be walking again.
The Camino is challenging physically and mentally but it gives so much on so many levels.
Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author