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In Torres del Rio


May 15, 2018 - It has been three days of walking since Pamplona. Today, I journeyed from Estella to Torres del Rio. The guide book has Los Arcos as the stopping point for the day, but the sky was big and the weather right to continue on. In total I walked 29 kilometers or a little over 18 miles.

The morning was cool and overcast, perfect for the only real climb of the day. By the time I began to descend, the clouds were allowing the sun to shine through, and soon the land was basking in its rays. White and yellow and red flowers lined the fields of grain. The wind stretched out its hand and caused the grain to ungulate, like waves on the shore of the sea.

It was all simply glorious.

In 2014, I walked this section with a group of friends who had decided to start out together so we could discover the wine fountain just outside of Estela with one another. We ended up walking together all day.

Today, I walked alone. It was different but good. I passed the wine fountain without stopping. Who needs a drink of wine before 7 am, especially when you would be drinking alone.

As I walked, I prayed for people who came to mind. I meditated on John 2. It is the passage that recounts Jesus' mother asking him to do something about the host family running out of wine at a wedding. In their culture, this was quite an embarrassment. I wondered about Jesus' hesitation that he explained by telling him mother his time had not come, and thought about why, given the timing was not right, he then went ahead and turned water into wine anyways. It seems he bent the timeline to save a friend from humiliation. All these thoughts, made him seem more human and present to me. I sang with a loud voice (one of the great benefits of walking alone.) Most of all, I soaked in the beauty of the land and the sky and thought about how creative our Creator truly is.

When I reached Los Arcos, I came across a man I had walked into Punta La Reina with two days ago. He is from Brazil. We talked for an hour about his life, marriage, career and the transition that has brought him to the Camino.

When we arrived, he told me he was going to continue on. We said our goodbyes, and because he is young and fit, I thought it would be the last time I would see him. So, I was surprised to see him standing in front of me. He had sustained a foot injury, seen a doctor, and was told to rest. He took the day off. He would stay another night in Los Arcos, but said he might see me in Logrono tomorrow. It is always interesting how the Camino seems to bring people around once again.

Once in Torres del Rio, I met a few new people. After our chores were done, we sat in the small square in front of the albergue and chatted. There has been a shortage of English speakers in the cohort I have been waking in for the past few days. It was nice to see a few who spoke my native tongue added to the group. Three were from Connecticut and another from Australia. By late afternoon, a group of six college students, who are walking the Camino as part of a course showed up. I had introduced myself to them yesterday and asked their names. I remembered all but one...they were impressed, and so was I.

The rest of the evening consisted of dinner and getting things settled for an early departure tomorrow.

Who knows who or what the days will bring. I am not worried about that right now. I am still basking in the glory of this one.


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