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Day 10: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

July 29, 2018


I try to take a few photos on my cell phone each day in hopes one of them will be something I use for Facebook that day. When I saw this sunflower it made me think of two things that are worth relating.

However, let me explain this photo first. It was a solo sunflower plant next to a wheat field which was next to the trail of the Camino de Santiago. I imagine that some people would say a smile was photoshopped onto the sunflower. But it is real. I suppose it is possible it is a mutation but more likely someone scarred it at some point to creat the smile. Nevertheless, it brought a smile to everyone who saw it.


Now for the two stories that come to mind with this photo and they relate to two Fundamentals of The Bernhardt Way. First, I typically stop three to eight miles in a village to get my first meal of the day—breakfast. These are small mom and pop shops with tables and chairs outside and normally only the mom or the pop manning the cafe. After my simple meal I normally carry my coffee cup, plates, and utensils back inside to the bar. I have never received any acknowledgment and I wasn’t expecting one. However, the Spanish lady at this establishment today said “mucho gracias” multiple times with a big smile. Her heartfelt thank you helped make my day. And I hope my simple act helped to make her day. I realized later this related to Fundamental #25–GIVE BACK. PAY IT FORWARD.


Second, I shared the photo with multiple pilgrims via WhatsApp and showed it to others. It was fun to the see how this photo brought smiles and encouragement to everyone who saw it. A smile or laughter brings people together and can encourage someone. This relates to Fundamental #26–KEEP IT FUN.


Today’s walk was from Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado. I walked 14.61 miles today. Tomorrow is a longer day in the incredible heat in Spain.


And it is worth noting that two members of the Fellowship walked in two days what I did in three days and are now in Belorado with me.


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See additional photos from July 29th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. Here is a marker in the sidewalk telling pilgrims they are on the right path to Santiago de Compostela.

  2. Here is another memorial along the trail.

  3. Here is an arrow pointing pilgrims in the right direction. But you have to love the message some pilgrim wrote on it.

  4. Here is a view of the village of Granon with a wheat field and a sunflower field in the foreground.

  5. Here is a view of the village of Granon with a sunflower field in the foreground.

  6. Here is a sunflower field along the path.

  7. Here is a church in Granon.

  8. Here is a marker in the sidewalk in Granon telling pilgrims they are on the right path.

  9. There were some balloons in the distance and this was the best photo I could get.

  10. Here is a view of the village of Redecilla del Camino.

  11. Here is the trail going through the village of Redecilla del Camino.

  12. Here is a marker in the sidewalk in the village of Castildelgado telling pilgrims we are on the right path.

  13. Here is the trail going through the village of Castildelgado.

  14. Here is a wheat field along the trail.

  15. Here is another yellow arrow telling us the distance to Santiago plus a sign planting the seed that a pilgrim may want to stay here.

  16. Here is a black & white photo of a lone sunflower on the edge of a wheat field along the trail.

  17. Here is a lone sunflower on the edge of a wheat field along the trail. Obviously, this sunflower gave me a lot of joy and spread a lot of happiness when I showed it to others.

  18. Here is a church in Belorado.

  19. Here is a church in Belorado.

  20. Here is a different type of marker in the sidewalk in Belorado that tells pilgrims they are on the trail to Santiago de Compostela.

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