Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

April 20

April 21st, 2016

April 20

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Rain– all morning, but not too hard so it was good hiking weather. The temperatures stayed cool and the way was mostly on dirt which didn’t really turn to deep mud, so it was soft. I realized how the hard pavement of these last days has been pounding my feet and knees, so the soft track was a welcome relief. Again it was miles of grape fields interspersed with some olive groves along with hayfields. I haven’t seen any pasture land so far, but today I passed a large barn clearly full of sheep, almost like an enclosed feed lot. The lambs were bleating, but sounded as if they were feeding– clearly not a slaughterhouse. The soft track helped me make my longest day, almost 39 km. (Though I am feeling it tonight). I keep wondering why I cannot get into a good thinking rhythm on this trek. Unlike other long distance hikes, there are many distractions– a village every 5 km or so– and a constant stream of walkers. The people in the villages walk a lot and always have a smile and an “hola” or “buen camino,” and there seem to be pilgrims every 50 meters. Even when I’m walking alone, it is as if there are others very close by. Clearly good thinking on the Camino requires some focus and discipline. But today was taxing, so I think I’ll just read a bit.

 

T. Hugh Crawford

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