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Day 17: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

August 5, 2018

Day 17 was a great day on the Camino de Santiago. I feel so blessed and grateful for so many things.

Let me explain my gratitude a little more. A Pilgrim told me recently that he was told by a former Camino Pilgrim that there are three parts to the Camino. Part 1 is the first week when the Camino breaks you physically. Part 2 is the next week when it breaks your spirit. And Part 3 is the remainder of time when it rebuilds you. And I can see and understand that in many ways. However, I feel a little guilty because I have loved every day and have been grateful for every day. I have had blisters but not to the extent of some others I have met. And I told friends before leaving America that I was sure there were days my body would be screaming at me for deciding to walk the Camino. There have been tough days but even in the heat and difficulty I still have a grateful heart and don’t feel my body or spirit was broken once. As crazy as it sounds I think I will miss walking and experiencing the Camino when I reach my turn-around point to get to Madrid to catch my flight back toward the end of the month.

But back to today. I walked 16.03 miles from Moratinos to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. I ran into Tonnie while I was having breakfast and had the privilege of walking with him for the last 10 miles approximately. I can tell you that Tonnie is a gift to everyone on the Camino, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to share things with him and to hear more of his story.

As I mentioned earlier, Tonnie began his Camino on April 30th as he left his front door in the Netherlands. I learned today that he was the youngest of four kids—1 girl and 3 boys. I learned a lot about his character as he told me stories of various experiences in his adult life. (Note: I would love to share them with you but don’t feel I have the right to do so. You will have to trust me when I say he is a good guy.)

I asked him the infamous “object” question I started asking people four or five years ago. (Note: If you aren’t familiar with the object question, right “Object?” in the comment section and I will dedicate an episode of ASK GORDON to this question if a number of people write “Object?” in the comment fields below, I will create an episode asking you this question.)

Back to Tonnie’s object. He shared that it was books, quotes, photos, etc. dealing with Nelson Mandela. He is drawn to the character of people who speak to him and hopes he can build that same character in his life.

We also continued our conversation about relationships personally and professionally. Overall, Tonnie was the Camino’s gift to me today. I can only hope I am a gift to others in the same way.

We arrived at our destination at a reasonable hour and showered and hand washed our clothes. We then had lunch with two other Americans—Gary and Scott from Rochester, NY. Tonnie had met them before but this was my first. Gary and Scott began their Camino at Burgos and are father and son.

It turns out that Gary is age 74 and did the Camino from Burgos with a friend two years ago in May. He said the bad thing about May was the cold and rain. In fact, he mentioned one day it was so cold they were close to having hypothermia.

Evidently, Gary gave a talk about the Camino at his church and Scott decided to do it. So they are both here. And unfortunately, Gary has some pretty severe blisters from this heat. He didn’t have blister issues two years ago. I will probably see Tonnie, Gary, and Scott for dinner tonight.

And yes, I am posting this earlier in the day than I normally do. If something eventful happens tonight, I will share it tomorrow.

In closing for today, I will mention two final things. First, the photo today is of a bridge leading to Ermita Virgen del Puente.

Second, Tuesday will be Day 19 and will be approximately 11 miles of walking into León. Therefore, since it will be an easy, short day I will record a second episode of ASK GORDON on Tuesday. I will pick up with the questions I did not have time to answer before. Therefore, you don’t have to ask your question again if you wrote the question on the video. If you have other questions, be sure to post questions ONLY on the most recent episode (video) of ASK GORDON. Questions written on photo posts will not be answered simply because I don’t have time to re-read every post. Always keep that in mind—questions you want answered should always be posted on the most recent video episode of ASK GORDON, i.e., the video posted on July 30th in this case.

Thanks for following me on this journey!

To Advance to the next post, click here.

See additional photos from August 5th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. Here is a marker along the trail.

  2. Here is a view of part of the trail I walked today.

  3. This is a bridge leading to a small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente.

  4. This is a bridge leading to a small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente.

  5. This is a small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente.

  6. This is a bridge leading to a small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente.

  7. This is on the trail near the small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente. I never found out its significance.

  8. This is on the trail near the small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente. I never found out its significance.

  9. This is on the trail near the small chapel--Ermita Virgen del Puente. I never found out its significance.

  10. This is a little pilgrim sculpture outside a store in the village of Sahagún.

  11. Here is a church in the village of Sahagún.

  12. Here is a church in the village of Sahagún.

  13. Here is a street and a view of another church in the village of Sahagún.

  14. Here is a structure in the village of Sahagún.

  15. Here is a marker along the Camino. Notice the pilgrim's staff and the footprints.

  16. Here is a cross along the Camino before a bridge leaving Sahagún.

  17. Here is a bridge leaving Sahagún.

  18. Here is a sculpture outside a cafe in Calzada de Coto.

  19. Here is a water fountain in a shaded area along the Camino.

  20. Here is the church in the village of Calzadilla de los Hermanillos.

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