• Ryan Newman

Managing the Terrain

Day 22 (Astorga to Foncebadón)

Distance: 15.91 miles (25.6)

Steps: 34,009

Time: 4 hours, 44 minutes

Total Distance To-Date: 339.46 Miles (546.3KM)

“A lot of what is most beautiful about the world arises from struggle.” —Malcolm Gladwell (Author)

Today was a steady climb to Foncebadón, just 2KM before the famed Cruce De Ferro (Iron Cross) which is also the highest point on the Camino. I chose to stop in Foncebadón so I can arrive at Cruce de Ferro at sunrise tomorrow. More on Cruce de Ferro and its significance tomorrow.

As for today, the 16 miles were a good workout. I am walking alone and being kept company by the book (audio version) Column of Fire. Part of my Camino Family is ahead of me and the other member is behind me. So I am walking alone—it is lonely—but not in a bad or sad sense.

Today is the 27th day I have been away from home. 27th day away from Erin and our baby. 27th night in a new and different bed. Many of us on the Camino are missing home and families. Santiago seems so close, yet it is so far. As we climb this mountain today, we know another milestone on the Camino is behind us.

Life is a series of mountains and valleys. We have to make the most of both terrains. My mind has begun to shift on these finals days of the Camino to the roads after the Camino. There are so many difficult and amazing Caminos ahead. The Camino demands that we live into and appreciate the present moment. I hope I have the strength and courage to embrace this reality on future Caminos. One day you are in a valley and the next day you are on a mountain, but in reality, you are still a pilgrim on the same journey—the same Camino.

Lesson of the Day: A mountain eventually leads to a valley and a valley always eventually leads to a mountain.


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