Dust, mud, sun, and rain
the Camino de Santiago is
Thousands of pilgrims
and more than a thousand years.
Pilgrim, who is calling you?
What hidden force draws you?
Neither the Field of Stars
nor the great cathedrals.
It is not the bravery of Navarre
nor the wine of La Rioja,
nor the Galician seafood
nor the Castillian countryside… –E.G.B.
Walking through Logroño at dawn:
Leaving Logroño on a multi-use recreational path..
These pilgrims from eastern Europe had arrived the night before at around 9PM at the albergue where my friends and I were staying but there was no hospitalero to be found. They waited for thirty minutes then left. The next time I encountered them was here on the bike path the next morning. They had apparently walked out of the city, then set up camp. I ran into them just as they were putting their tents away!
The younger couple were newlyweds on their honeymoon and they were accompanied by the older couple, the young man’s mother and her boyfriend!
The reservoir outside Logroño (Embalse de La Grajera)…
“Ermita del Peregrino Pasante Marcelino Lobato Castrillo. This fellow was selling little Camino souvenirs…
I enjoyed walking through these fields of grape vines…
Lunch in Ventosa…
Pilgrim, who calls you?
What hidden force draws you?
Neither the people of the Camino
Nor their rural customs.
Not the history and culture
or the Rooster of La Calzada
or the Palace of Gaudi
or the castle of Ponferrada
And more lovely vistas…
Getting close to Najera…
The poem by E.G.B. (which I’ve read stands for “Eugenio Garibay Baños”) on the wall outside Nájera….
Entering Najera, the day turned gloomy. But the little city itself was vivid and colorful…
As I followed this couple walking hand-in-hand, I thought, “Can I manifest this for myself?”
Finally I arrived at the Albergue Puerta de Nájera, which I really liked and I was so happy to put my feet up…
After showering and putting my feet up, I wandered around town, which is pressed right up against these striated red cliffs, finally stopping to lie below a tree by the river. When I posted these photos on the American Pilgrims Facebook pages, someone remarked they look like movie sets because they are oddly devoid of people. As much as I love these photos, I always felt that they were a little odd in some way that I couldn’t define. He hit the nail on the head.
The funny thing is that about an hour after the Pilgrim’s curfew of 10PM, the streets came completely alive. Nothing strange about that in Spain. Dinner is often at 10. In fact, when I lived in southern Spain back in ’93, I found a job bartending at a club called Coconuts and my hours were from 10PM to 6AM. My boyfriend would pick me up at 6 and we’d head to a nightclub where we partied until 10 or 11 in the morning before finally heading home to sleep. At four, we’d wake up, eat, go to the beach for a few hours, then start all over again.
I see everything passing by
And it is a joy to see it all,
but the voice that calls me
I feel more deeply still.
The force that pushes me
The force that draws me,
I cannot explain,
Only the One above knows! –E.G.B.