Another 21 kms! Set out before 8.00 am; had breakfast in a bar in Cerro Muriano; then headed off about 8.30. There was quite a mist, so no long distance scenery, but very much focussed on the path. It was cool and therefore good for walking. The guide book had indicated a fairly level path for most of the day, gradually ascending all the way, with a steepish descent and ascent to the destination at the end of the day. However, I found it more up and down than I had expected. The path mostly paralleled a highway. However, like ancient Isaiah, the modern highway levels the way:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain. (Is 40:3-4)
But the camino path is more pre-Isaiah, and climbs up the mountains and climbs down into the valleys. To be fair, they were more hillocks and gullies, except for the end, but it did mean a lot more “up” and “down” than I had expected.
During the day, being Palm Sunday, I reflected on the “stations of the cross” that my brother had been through in the past year. I remembered him, his family, my own family. I am sure that the Easter services this year will be much more poignant for all of us as we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, confident that John too has followed that path and that his spirit now rejoices with the risen Christ as we await the final resurrection.
I reached El Vacar (12 kms) about 12.00 and had lunch.
The sun came out in the afternoon and it was quite hot. There were a couple of longish road stretches. I was glad when the destination hove into sight. I made a triumphal entry (get it? triumphal entry? Palm Sunday?) about 3.30 pm. There was no donkey awaiting me, no crowds cheering, no palms put at my feet, just the quiet satisfaction of having completed another stage.
I settled into a local hostal, did my washing, had a short rest, and am now about to have a meal.
During the day, I did take time to enjoy nature. I will let it speak for itself:
As ancient bovine wisdom states: “As you pass the path of life, remember to take time out to eat the flowers!”