Day 32- To Arzua

June 28, 2014 - Distance Traveled: 28.9 km -

Jeff and I set out early again today. The ankle is stiff and it took a bit of time to loosen up. By the time a good rhythm had set in, we came upon a German couple who we met back in Portomarin. They have sold everything back at home and came to walk the Camino in order to figure out what is next in life.

They also brought the whole family, are are carrying their three year old son. One carries the backpack the other the child.

Jeff and I were surprised to see them out on the trail so early in the morning because they told us last night they would not be leaving until 7 am. We express our surprise, they explained they had heard that there was going to be rain by 10 am and they wanted to travel as far as they could before it hit.

I was thankful for their presence. Yesterday, it was only him and I as we walked. With this couple, Jeff was now getting the chance to walk along side of them and talk. He was getting to experience what I had know for the past month.

They were right about the rain, but a little off on the timing. Around 8:30 am, a light drizzle quickly turned in to a heavy rain. We to shelter in a cafe thinking we could wait it out. It only rained harder. Eventually, we embraced the fact we would be walking in the rain and head back out.

This is Sidney, Alex and Shaylee. They are the three ladies who walked into the albergue in Plaza De Rei yesterday.

The rain acts as a regulator on the flow of conversation. When the rain gets heavy, the conversation quiets down, but as soon as it begins to wane conversations pick back up again.

The city of Melide known for its Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus). It was a bit early in the day for lunch, but we could not walk pass the opportunity to partake in this cultural experience. People rave about how good it is. All I can say is, it's a bit slimy for me.

Jeff and I have known each other for 27 years. Because we have trekked together before, I am well aware of the fact he is a mountain goat. Knowing this, I was glad we would be meeting up later on the Camino, after I had gotten my Camino legs, and I would have an easier time keeping up with him. Of course, the ankle injury changed all that. I have felt bad that he has been saddled with someone who is walking so slowly. I know this fact bothers me more than it does him. He has been nothing but kind and gracious regarding my limitations as we continue to move forward. Just out side of Melide we found the 50 km marker. It is hard to believe we are almost there.

Our original intent was to stop in Rabadiso. Arzua was a 3 Kilometers past it. Feeling good and wanting to cut distance off our journey tomorrow, we pressed on. Between the two towns, on a steep incline, we met a pastor from the Midwest and his son, Mark and Sam. Sam just graduated from the Air Force Academy.

I had heard Helen talk about them when me met back up in Sarria. She had walked with them while we were separated. The mutual acquaintance and shared vocation made it easy to strike up a conversation with these two.

It turns out Mark knows people at the university where I am an adjunct professor. Its a small world. We have both have graduate degrees in Spiritual Formation, and also share some similar experiences in ministry. Needless to say, we had lots to chat about as we walked into Aruza. I could not have picked someone better to process the experince of the Camino with as we neared Santiago.

Could it be with these two, and the ladies from Texas, we have the makings of a third Camino family?

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