Camino Day 38 – Reflections on the Way

Saturday 27th May 2023

Distance 8.5km / 5.2 miles

Ferreiros – Portomarin

This was a very relaxed day on account of just having a couple of hours walk to my destination. It is a strange end to my Camino. I don’t want to arrive in Santiago before next Saturday. I have a whole week of short walks with plenty of time to sit and wait, sit and think, and sleep and doze.

I have time as I walk to think too. The walking is not too challenging and I am so happy to have ‘discovered’ the joy of walking with God. It sounds grander than it is but it is just a sense of joy and peace knowing that He is there.

Just outside the village of Ferreiros I pass a significant milestone. Only one hundred kilometres to go!

It gives a bit more urgency to my thinking. I think about what kind of life I should live on my return home. I do have some changes to make as this faith of mine has made me feel much better about myself.

I could see the mist and cloud in the valley below which had not yet been burnt off by the sun. There were also more and more of these iconic Galician grain stores too. They came in all shapes and sizes.

I began thinking about my daily prayer and felt an urge to add to my habit of Morning Prayer. I had reminded myself a few days ago of a visit when I was at University to the Franciscan Friary at Alnmouth. It set me off thinking about their daily cycle of prayer. There is a certain attractiveness to the structure of this. Is that something I could aspire to. I was clear in my mind that I didn’t want to set myself unattainable goals so if it happens it will happen gradually I think.

I had begun thinking about my garden too. I have passed so many vegetable plots on my pilgrimage and each time I think of my poor neglected garden and there is a longing to get back to it. I want to to spend more time growing and eating vegetables; looking and smelling flowers; sitting on my seat and giving thanks for the goodness of God.

As I approached Portomarin the mist had almost gone.

When I arrive in the town it is so quiet. Being a Saturday helps I suppose but it’s probably more to do with the fact that the pilgrims who stayed last night have mostly left and today’s pilgrims haven’t arrived yet. I look around the town and then pop into a bar for a coffee and Napoletana.

Today has been a day of wonderful views and the views from the town across the valley are great.

I get checked in to the Municipal Albergue and do my normal housekeeping. More time to sit in the sunshine and just relax. I could see the clouds building up and the forecast was for thunderstorms. I got my washing in off the line and thought I would head out for a proper meal. Just as I reached the restaurant the promised thunderstorm arrived and the rain was torrential. Everyone headed inside. A pizza and a beer later I headed back to the hostel.

It had been a good thinking day. It will be good to get back to normal life again. In a sense I knew I needed to get my life back as this pilgrimage had been dominating my thoughts for so long. I wasn’t in a hurry to finish it but I think I was ready to get back to my own house.