12th Day of Camino

Today was both the most difficult and the most rewarding. I walked for almost 30 Kms which is already a lot but the last ten were uphill, and at times steep. I walked up Mt Snowden to prepare for this. I met two special young men as I walked along; Peter from the Cheque Republic who has walked all the way, he began in May. And Ambrose from France whose getting married next year.

When I eventually arrived at my destination, a place called O’Cebreiro, 1,400 meters up, I was exhausted. I checked into the municipal hostel, then looked for the church. It was built in the 9th century; that’s as old as the Camino. It’s the oldest church on the Camino. I almost cried when I sat down to give thanks for getting here. Later I went to the 6pm mass. The first thing that struck me was the youthfulness of the priest; by far the youngest priest I have come across. He also seemed to understand better then the others the significance of what we were doing. After the mass he asked all pilgrims to come for a blessing; there must have benn sixty or seventy of us. , he gave each one a hug and a small stone. I found this very moving and for the first time I cried, indeed I sobbed.

In coming to this place I sense that I am coming closer to my final destination, Santiago. I lost my Californian friend, Ken, he’s now a day behind. On the Camino you are always meeting people, some of whom you walk a kilometre or two with. I’ve met some lovely people, they shorten the journey. Bye for now.

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