Today was another landmark day: a bit like reaching Alto del Perdon four weeks ago; one of those pinch me, I made it days.
When we began this Camino I wondered what it would take to reach La Cruz de Ferro. I imagined it might be raining, or that we would be in cloud, that my body would be pretty much broken by now.
So far, apart from minor niggles our bodies are holding together.
And as you can see there was no sign of rain. We did have an extraordinary sunrise, one of those Shepherds Warning mornings.
But that’s due to smoke haze – we can see the pall of smoke quite clearly from our dormitory window this afternoon.
As for what it’s taken to reach La Cruz de Ferro -it’s been as simple as putting one foot in front of another, repeatedly.
Tradition says pilgrims place stones at the base of the cross to represent relinquishing their burdens. We did bring stones from home. For us it was about bringing something of the people we love – a concrete representation of how we carry them with us where ever we might be in the world. And this time leaving a little piece of them and ourselves here, in this place.
I’m glad we left stones and not personalised messages. In a little dose of Camino reality municipal workers arrived as we were leaving. They removed all the trinkets, cards, messages and mementoes, including abandoned shoes from the pile of rocks.
The walk from La Cruz to Acebo was nine or so kilometres over rocky ground. As with tramping in New Zealand each footfall required concentration and discernment. I loved it.
We never did get on with the job of buying new poles in Astorga. Neither of us have missed them, not even during the steep descent into Acebo. With our hands free we returned to the old balancing skills from our tramping days – for us it’s easier without them.
It’s pleasant here in Acebo, in a sleepy sort of a way.
Not much is happening apart from the relaxed sound of voices in a nearby bar; and, the occasional, purposeful footfall of a pilgrim -sometimes punctuated with the click of sticks on cobblestones.
Tomorrow we’ll walk on to Ponferrada.