Can Beauty ever be Considered Redundant?

The unique roof line of the Immaculate Conception church where I stopped for morning prayers.
The impressive interior of the church.  Note the 12 apostles prominently displayed on the altar wall.  The question is…which is St. James?

When I left the urban city center of Vigo and slowly made my way out of the city and on my way to Redondela, I had perhaps 75% of my short 10 mile walk today alongside different areas (and views) of the Vigo estuary.  The views were stunning, and I’ve come to expect as much along the coastlines of Portugal and Spain.  So today many of my photos are of those views.  They may seem redundant, but can beauty ever really be considered redundant?  Not to my eye Lord, and I thank You for that.

Old school / new school.  Like walking to cars…both get you from A to B, but at much different paces.

A cruise ship in the Vigo harbor.

Much of my view today was of the Vigo estuary on paths high in the hills.  This made me one happy peregrino.

On the last 1/3 of my walk I had the pleasure of meeting another solo pilgrim…Neil from Kent, England.  Neil and I had stayed at the same hotel in Vigo, but only caught a glimpse of each other at breakfast.  During our chat I came to find out he was a retired doctor that spent the previous 15 years of his career working as a physician on the North Island of New Zealand.  He had some fascinating stories to share about the Mauri native islanders and how they’ve come to blame many of their health and social-economic  problems on the ‘white man’.  Like any story, there’s probably partial truth to this.  He and I are of similar age, both have 3 adult children, but he has grandchildren already.  He enjoys walking and frequents the public links nearby his town for socialization.  What was most impressive about Neil though (at least to me), is that he does volunteer medical work in remote parts of the world as a way of giving back.  He’s traveled to Uganda (where AIDS is an epidemic) and South Africa, diagnosing maladies with insufficient tools and staff.  We discussed religion a bit, and after sharing he was a member of the Anglican Church and me the Catholic Church, we agreed that God doesn’t take denomination qualifiers as an entry to Heaven.  After all, we all worship the same God, yes?  Thank you Lord for the gift of Neil’s company.  May I have the good fortune of walking with him again.

Another magnificent view of Vigo and the estuary.

Vigo’s harbor is important for the shipment of many goods, including the auto’s Citroen, which are made there.

El Gato named Paolo…at least that what he told me his name was!

A backside view of Vigo as I approached Redondela.

Today is May 1, my 9th consecutive day of walking.  I am thankful it was a short walk and the weather was perfect.  I took advantage of both and moved at a leisurly pace (where was this JT on that 2014 French Way Camino my Catherine might ask!).  Neil and I both had the same diagnosis…inflamed and sore feet from all the hard surface walking over the preceding week…especially the cobblestone streets.  Thank you Lord for mostly crushed coquina shell paths today.  Our feet are rejoicing!

Many of the paths were smooth surfaces today…a Godsend!

Sharing the road with bikers and sheep!

Can you imagine waking up to this view every morning?  Many do.  I wonder if they realize how blessed they truly are.

A mural painted on a rock along the Way.

Tomorrow I am scheduled for 20 km as I make my way to Pontevedra.  I wonder what my day will present to me, but I trust that God will deliver…again.  Peace always family & friends.

​Peppercorn carne with double starches and an Estrella Galicia to chase it down.  Yes!

​​As beautiful to look at as it was pleasing to hear.

Author: jtcaminoblog

A husband of 38 years, a father of 3, a Christian man and pilgrim on this earth. I am a devout Roman Catholic whose purpose in life is to love our Lord above all else and our neighbors as ourselves. I struggle with the latter but walk these pilgrimages for both atonement and guidance from the Lord to be the best version of myself.

5 thoughts on “Can Beauty ever be Considered Redundant?”

  1. Another beautiful blog with amazing pictures & descriptive words! I do believe you need to become a professional “blogger”. Of course my favorites are the animals. I remember that I drove you crazy stopping to talk to every thing that moved along our way to Santiago … now you are doing the same thing. So glad that you are slowing down a little – I know that is very hard for you to do. In a family of 11 children slowing down meant not getting what you needed. Whether it was attention from your parents or the best pork chop on the dinner table which all seven of the brothers were looking at during grace.
    I must admit that the food over there doesn’t look that good to me. Your feet were your main concern in 2014, the food was mine. Just too much meat & fried potatoes. And of course the pulpo … Oy vey! Served over mashed potatoes no less.
    Next Saturday you walk into Santiago where St James is waiting to see you again. Last time you were there he didn’t get to thank you or hear your prayers. Remember the five things that you must do before and when you are in his cathedral – the pilgrim “ritual”. First, before you enter through the doors, you must stop and say three short prayers. Second, as you enter the Cathedral, place your hand on the Tree of Jesse (I don’t think that is permitted anymore, but you can still hold your hands up to it). Third, touch your forehead to the central column built by Maestro Mateo. Forth, hug Saint James as you climb the stairs behind the altar. Last, kneel before the casket containing the bones of our beloved St James and offer your prayers.
    God speed sweet pilgrim!


  2. John – for some reason I’ve been unable to get emails as you post – so today as I sit alone for lunch – 24 hours too early to meet my friend – I have caught up. It was such a gift to sit and read – nit wanting it to finish – turning the pages as in a great novel. As I sit here in an outside porch – it is raining heavily and I am enjoying the sound. Now with a little unexpected free time I don’t have to dash out. Thank you for taking the time to share with us – not only the magnificent photos – but fir sharing yourself. A hard thjng to do – especially for men I hear 😊
    God bless you as you continued. You in the prayers if so many – abdcus jn your prayers. Tricia


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