I stepped outside this morning to stillness…literally no wind. The wind is a huge dynamic on many things. Yesterday the outside temperature was similar to today…upper 60’s, but the wind was blowing hard and the combination made for a very cold start. Even my windbreaker brought little relief. Today I had it off in the first 5 minutes. A headwind can make an overseas flight 2 hours longer than one with a tailwind. A headwind can require a golfer to use 2 extra clubs for a standard yardage shot; a tailwind 2 less.
And so it is with life. When the rush and sounds are in your face, things seem harder. When you have quiet and peace, things seem clearer. I brought ear buds with me thinking I would tune out the world while I walked, yet I’ve not used them once. The stillness and peace of this morning had me attuned to the sounds and smells of nature…the birds chirping, the sea flowing, the flowers fragrant. It is a simple but rare treasure these days. Time to get centered and your thoughts clear. I have absolutely relished that gift.
About midway through my walk today I moved from the country to some major roadways. These roads have dedicated paths alongside for bikers and hikers. I must say I’ve been reacquainted with the lack of courtesy extended by some bikers doing the Camino. They are sometimes traveling 10-20x the speed of walkers, and when they zip inches by you from behind at that speed…with no warning…you about jump out of your skin. Some display the proper etiquette by calling “on your left / right” or “Buen Camino” when approaching, letting you know to step aside, but more often it’s the former versus the latter. The other ‘skin jumper’ is when a dog awaits you walking alongside their fence and growls and barks out of nowhere. Man oh man, why can’t they just chill like cats?
Then my day flipped back to countryside walking, and perhaps the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen…not only on this walk (which is saying a lot)…but perhaps EVER. I’m talking stunning vistas that are too surreal for words. I hope the following photos do some justice to what my eyes and brain will store forever. I’m so grateful to see this incredible part of the world, and to do it on foot in peace and quiet.
From the grounds of the Parador Hotel. Buenos Noches peregrinos.