Coming off maybe my best day in Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis was maybe the low point of the trip so far. I had just come off this magical chance dinner with 6 other pilgrims from across the globe, and I had walked solo into this town that had zero charm or history. Then I found out the wifi was super slow meaning my blog post got stuck somewhere in cyberspace when trying to post. Late that evening I ran into a walking mate from a previous day, Neil Robertson, and we had a bite to eat. I asked Neil if he was OK if we walked the 15 miles into Padron today, and he agreed, so off we set this morning for our destination. It was a relatively quiet start with more bird song than human voices…which is always a good thing. Many of the paths were along wooded forests and there were virtually none of the dreaded enemy…bikers. A short way into our journey we ran into Benjamin from Hamburg, Germany…a theater actor in musicals back home…and he joined us for about half our walk.
When we arrived in Padron we thought it was going to be a replay of Caldas de Reis…an industrial town low on character. Boy were we wrong. Little did we know that Padron has significant Camino history and actually furnishes their own official Certificado called a Pedronia if you visit 3 historical sites within the city. Since we had arrived early afternoon we decided to give it a go, and boy are we glad we did. The first, Fuente del Carmen, and third, the church of Santa Maria de Iria were both beautiful and historic, but our second stop…to Monte Santiaguino, the starting point of St. James’ ministry on the Iberian Peninsula, was powerful and peaceful. We both agreed that the Holy Spirit was present at this spiritual site.
One of the great Jacobean treasures, the original stone O Pedron’, beneath the altar at Igrexa de Santiago. The stone is where the town got it’s name.
So after receiving our Pedronia Certificado’s, Neil and I had dinner at the hotel and discussed tomorrow. He, along with most pilgrims I’ve met thus far, walk the 30 km into Santiago, whereas I have a ‘split day’ and only walk approximately 15 km into a town called Teo. I then have the short walk into Santiago on Saturday. I’ll surely miss these new friends I’ve made, one of the most special benefits of walking a Camino. I am particularly thankful to have made the friendship of Neil, whom I’ve been able to share much of my life stories to…and him to me. Safe travels home new friend and Buen Camino. I hope the good Lord allows our paths to cross again.