Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beginning The Official 100 Kilometers

Today begins what we will call the "official" Camino. In order to qualify for the Compostela - the official pilgrim certificate - at Santiago - one has to walk a minimum of 100 kilometers before entering Santiago.  Today the Camino was very busy - we even had a section - similar to a few days go - when young children walked with their parents - or teachers - on a small section. The number of pilgrims is growing - with a few ladies who just started at Astorga - and others - who started yesterday at Sarria - the "official" starting point for the 100 kilometer "club".  The walk today included a steep incline which we were not warned about - yet - non the less - we survived - along with the brothers from Idaho and one fellow who has enjoyed more than his share of the local vineyard.. One thing we have learned is acceptance - of those who are different - who do not share your language - as the group from Germany - who entered today's albergue in full force. Today's walk was a short 13 kilometers - but a difficult one with multiple steep climbs - I have mentioned we are in the mountains - and yes - Jason - you were correct about the hilly terrain. As I write this - the sun is beating on my back - which is appreciated after a day of cooler shade. Arlene just reminded me that I should  mention that last night - after an early dinner - we skipped the pilgrim's dinner at 7:30 PM - and ate early - which allowed us to attend the Holy Mass at Iglsia Santa Marina - where a fellow pilgrim was moved to tears at the  meditation song after Holy Communion - a very nice Mass with a special pilgrims blessing. Afterwards we hung around to purchase an additional credential - our originals are filling up - and we need to collect a minimum of two sellos a day - we do not want to run out of space on our cards. 

                                           Breakfast Display Outside Local Bar

                                                  More and More Peregrinos

                                                    Monastery  Cemetery

                                                            Pilgrim Path

                                                              Multiplying Pilgrims

                                                          Train Crossing

                                                 Arlene Resting At Way Mark

                                                              Foggy Walking

                                                   Massage For Sale

                                              Newer Albergue Looks Interesting

                                                Lots Of Peregrinos

                                                 Hey Don - A Lamborghini Farm Tractor

                                                              More Uphill

                                                           Grain Drying Bin

                                                 Official 100 Kilometer Marker

                                                         Surprise! An Ostrich

                                            Today's Albergue - Nice - Newer

Since we are ahead of schedule we called it quits early and secured beds in an relatively new Albergue. The restaurant served dinner early so we are done for the day and heading off to our beds.  Tomorrow the Camino will continue.

Buen Camino
Dale and Arlene

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