Thursday, May 14, 2015

Castrojerez to Fromista

Descents from the heights above Castrojerez towards Fromista in the far distance

Directions: Just follow your shadow....or the little yellow arrows

Canal de Castilla

The forecast for today is a little cooler. I have 25 kilometers to walk today and start at 6.00 a.m. while it is still dark. Walking in the dark seems to develop different sensibilities and I enjoy the quiet of the streets of Castrojerez. Since the last time that I walked the Camino five years ago, there are many more people on this route so my quiet may be disturbed at any moment now. This will be another day of walking alone and certainly, at this time, I feel inclined not to travel with other people because then the journey becomes a compromise. I don´t want to be asked about my journey: I just want to be immersed in the walk without looking for a cerebral answer.

I have decided to walk the first ten kilometers before having breakfast. It is something for which I can look forward. At Itero de la Vega, I take a breakfast of a cafe solo along with my spontaneous slightly unusual choice of eggs and bacon. That provides me with enough fuel to reach Fromista by 2.p.m. where I will be staying for the night.

Why am I walking the Camino again? This seems to be a question that I am always asked. All I can reply is that I obviously didn´t learn whatever I was meant to learn the first time. Perhaps the answer is that I crave the simple life of walking every day. Walking is the central event of the day and human interaction, along with mealtimes, take on a level of importance that intense. Actually, it's addictive. The whole Camino is addictive.

There is now an upward incline to about 900 meters followed by an equally sharp descent to the flat plains of the Meseta, which will now continue for another five days. In the far distance, I can see a central light on the hundreds of wind turbines, majestic and powerful, that dot the countryside of Spain.

The young people often have difficulty with the flat plains because they are forced to look inwards, and that can be frightening. Who knows, this might be painful for me too. I develop a slow walking pace which for me seems natural. Invariably, I am being continually overtaken by others who have a faster natural rhythm.

I really have nowhere I have to get to today and, unlike others, I have chosen not to make reservations for lodging space for the night. I want to trust in the universe and not be bothered with the mundane.

As I look at the countryside I realise that I sometimes slip into the habit of not fully breathing. For me, this seems to reduce the intensity of what I am seeing to something surreal. By breathing, I notice more the intricate and minute details of nature. My sister-in-law asks what is wrong with living in a state of surrealism? She's a painter. That's alright for her to say that but, for now, I want to be fully present.

The flat land extends as far as the eyes can see and I just continue one step at a time. It´s gentler and meditative.

I am in the library in Fromista and, even with the help of the librarian, I am having problems posting photos. That is the problem of using public computers. They are rightfully afraid of allowing downloads of anything that might result in an infected computer. You may not hear from me for the next four or five days because I am certainly entering even more of a backwater. However, surprises can happen, even on the Camino.

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