Before I begin describing Day 2, I want to share a few thoughts from the end of Day 1. I went to the evening Pilgrim Mass which was well attended and a great experience even though the proceedings were entirely in Spanish. At the conclusion the priest gathered pilgrims to the front of church and gave a special blessing. He recognized all the countries represented…an impressive number…and even attempted the blessing in a number of languages. More on pilgrim diversity later. Interestingly, a woman fainted half way through the mass, and later at dinner another person fainted and fell table-to-floor. Both appeared to be ok, but I can’t help think that the rigors of the first day had taken a toll.
The walk to Zubiri on Day 2 was indeed less strenous than the Day 1 trudge. The trail was up and down, but pleasant overall winding through pastures and finally dense forests with trees heavily hung with moss. The weather remained cool and overcast with just a little misting. I continue to feel good walking with only some aches here and there, but no blisters!
Walking the trail today made me think about the fact that the Camino is really a 1,000 year old easement, or right of way, that runs through towns, privately owned farms, orchards, etc. As a result, it provides the pilgrim a chance to experience a slice of life in Spain as you move West. Today, mostly dairy farming and logging was on display. There were numerous spots where I walked through gates that appeared to divide different paddocks. Pilgrims were asked to shut gates after moving through them presumably to keep stray sheep, goats and cows from escaping!
Back to pilgrim diversity. Pilgrims come in every age, gender and country imaginable. You would think that the physical demands of walking almost 500 miles would make this a young person’s journey, but middle-aged and older pilgrims are here in numbers. Also, there are at least as many women as men, some in pairs, or small groups, but many traveling solo.
My destination today Zubiri, a drab work-a-day town, so not much to say there. But I am looking forward to Day 3’s walk to Pamplona, a town where people run in front of charging bulls…on purpose!
Before I sign off, just want to thank everyone for your kind words of encouragement, blog comments, and prayers. I pray for you as well. Also, I understand that Beth and her Princeton High School students may be reading my blog, so I’ve paid extra attention to spelling and grammar 😉 Thanks for your interest and your comments!