Walking Home

reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

May 21

May 21st, 2016

May 21

The Camino brought some surprises on the last day. I expected most of the walk to be through the Santiago de Compostela suburbs but instead found myself on some narrow roads winding up and down through classic Galician villages including A Ponte Maceira, a town divided by a swift river crossed by an arched Roman bridge. I’ll miss the narrow stone streets twisting between houses, barns, and stables, all built to last centuries and showing through marks, additions, and gardens the history of the lives within. I’ll also miss those many villages circling their church tower and so clearly home to the people living there. The other surprise the way brought were old friends. First Elena and Michele, two peregrinos from Italy I had met early on my trek only to re-encounter them on the very last day. On saying goodbye to them, I immediately bumped into another early fellow hiker, a man from Germany who I had walked with the first four days. He had hurt his knee but after some rest had finished his Camino and was on his way to Finisterre. I usually tend to walk alone (as is clear in the earlier months of this blog), but the many peregrinos I was fortunate to spend time with made this a much different kind of trek. Although conversations were often limited by language(s), clearly communication took place. For that and the friends I made, I remain grateful.

T. Hugh Crawford