Pilgrimpace's Blog


unknown territory
September 21, 2010, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

On the Camino I walked through unknown territory.  The pilgrimage became an exercise in trust.  Trusting God, trusting other people (and perhaps deciding when not to trust).  It was an exercise in trusting my direction finding abilities, my capacity to make sense of very sporadic yellow arrows, a map, and the landscape I was actually walking through.  (I talked to one pilgrim once I had joined the Via de la Plata beyond Zamora who had no map or guide book and who navigated by listening inwardly to the Camino.  I was not brave enough to try this method).

I was surprised that I got lost very few times and that the worst that happened was a few miles added onto the route.  A year ago I was walking deep in the flat, red, empty fields of La Mancha, walking from Las Pedroneras, with its excellent albergue in the medieval Casa Parochial, to the town of Mota del Cuerva.  I was enjoying the solitary walking.  A man stopped his car on the earth track to wish me “Buen Camino”.  The owner of the bar gave me coffee and refresco.  A little later this wonderful man engaged me in a very confusing conversation about the direction of the Camino

I decided to ignore his advice, which as far as I could gather, involved walking a couple of miles to a motorway and then following it.  Instead I followed the yellow arrows.  As the miles went slowly by in the mounting heat I found myself lost in a maze of temporary paths used for the grape harvest.  All I could do was carry on in what I thought was the right direction and be guided by the low rumble of a main road in the distance.  I spotted labourers harvesting grapes who agreed with this plan.

An hour later, after dodging heavy trucks, I found a roundabout and stopped to look at the signposts.  A Guardia Civil car stopped.  While they ran an identity check they asked me where I was going and gave me excellent advice on accommodation for the night.  After a shower and dinner I looked up and saw my first windmill.

A year later the Camino continues.  The work at St Gabriel’s is new work and unknown territory.  I pray for trust, that we will find the Way, for courage, faith and imagination.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

A wnderful post, Andy! God bless you, and may God bless all of us of faith and little faith.

Comment by solitary walker

Indeed – yes and absolutely yes!

thanks Robert,

Andy

Comment by pilgrimpace




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