• Ryan Newman

Grumpy Old Men

Day 27 (Triacastela to Vilei)

Distance: 13.30 miles (21.4KM)

Steps: 31,000

Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Total Distance To-Date: 417.44 Miles (671.8KM)

“Optima dies…prima fugit.” (In the lives of the mortals, the best days are the first to flee) – Virgil

Of the four regions on the Camino, Galicia definitely is my favorite landscape. The region is dominated with gentle rolling hills and large oak trees creating tree canopies along sections of the path. The area is lush and green with many streams. Birds sing, dogs lounge in the streets of tiny hamlets, and cows wander through villages. I am enjoying greatly the scenery of Galicia.

It is hard to believe I have only four more days until I reach Santiago. I have two long days and two “shorter” days ahead. Unfortunately, my left leg, particularly my knee and quad, is still acting up. Downhill steps are very uncomfortable if not excruciating. If the elevation profiles are correct, the next four stages have minimal elevation shifts that will minimize my downward steps to short sections (God, I pray). I will crawl into Santiago on Tuesday, if required.

The landscape is not the only thing that has shifted in Galicia, so many new faces have joined the Camino. Most of the faces and groups I don’t recognize. New pilgrims respond to those of us who started in St. Jean with great intrigue and wonder—kinda like rare animals in the zoo.

It is fairly easy to discern how long a pilgrim has been on the Camino. The first sign is usually the state of one’s shoes. After four weeks walking, my shoes are falling apart and stained with mud (I hope that is mud!). The inside of my right shoe is held together with duct tape. Another telling sign is the “Pilgrim’s Passport.” My passport has about 30 stamps; whereas, a new pilgrim’s passport is mostly pristine white. In all honesty, there are moments we “St. Jean Pilgrims” grumble like grumpy old men about the “lipstick pilgrims.”

Truth be told, we have to remind ourselves that everyone’s pilgrimage is different—everyone’s pilgrimage is their own whether it is 750KM or 100KM.

Lesson of the Day: Focus on your pilgrimage especially these final few days.


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