Today’s pictures can be viewed here. Today’s prayer intentions: for Lisa Kuhlman to find safe affordable housing.

Today was a very crisp cold morning to begin with but we were walking with the sunrise of the day. The path was mostly a descent into the next town. Our first stage was 7.6 miles to Los Arcos with no towns or stops or water in between. But the scenery was beautiful with mountains in the distance and plenty of farmland with huge hay bale structures!

It’s funny that we were reading how crowded the Camino was this year. It is a holy year declared by Pope Francis and also plenty of pent up Pilgrims from the covid period, now making their pilgrimage. But we must be in a sweet spot of all the pilgrims because we counted only eight total for this entire day that we encountered.

This has provided us with a lot of silence and much needed solitude for our journey. Most pilgrims simply say “Buen Camino” and keep on walking but some we see over and over as we stop or they stop and we get to know them a little bit. Today we encountered Tessa from Australia who is noticeable from a distance because she wears a bright pink hat. Another woman we saw a few days ago named Debbie from Canada was part of our walk today as we listen to her concerns about her family back home. The encounters are short-lived but you can feel the connection with people as you walk and share the same path towards the same goal.

As we entered Los Arcos we were greeted by the town’s early warning system of honking geese and noisy goats. We found the Town square for a brief rest and I checked on the local church which was locked at that time. But as I turned to the left there was a long corridor with an old crucifix at the end where I found a bench to do my morning prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. As I was walking away to return to the table to meet Lisa I encountered another pilgrim who was also checking the church doors. He agreed my spot was also a good place for his morning prayers. It’s good to encounter faith in others on the Camino.

As we were getting ready to leave Los Arcos a man named Ed from Pennsylvania started up a conversation with us. He is not a religious man but he walks the Camino to be part of nature. He came over and gave a butterfly pin to Lisa as a gift to go with her beautiful scarf that she’s been wearing. We talked a bit about the Catholic Church and about faith and then Lisa and I began our last stretch to Sansol.

It was quite amazing because Lisa had been thinking about how she had not seen any butterflies this whole time on the Camino and they were abundant the last time we were here. The butterfly represents transformation and part of our Camino journey. Just as we were departing Los Arcos, along the path were wildflowers and so many butterflies! All of this was on the feast day of Saint Therese of Lisieux which brought tears to Lisa’s eyes and much joy to her heart!!!

We found dinner that evening at a local restaurant that offered vegetarian options for Lisa. The waitress was a young girl who spoke perfect English and we struck up a conversation. When we asked for sangria we found out they had none. But she offered us a drink that might be similar, a local drink in Spain which is a mixture of wine and coca-cola. We would never have thought of this combination but it turned out to be quite good! It is now our go-to drink when we cannot find sangria!

We will take Sunday off to rest and go to a pilgrims Mass at the church of Santiago.

We continue to pray for all of our friends and family in Florida and those reflected by the hurricane as well as all of the prayer intentions we carry with us each day. Thank you for those who read our daily journal and give us such kind feedback and encouragement on Facebook.

Buen Camino.

Today’s pictures can be viewed here. Today’s prayer intentions: for Lisa Kuhlman to find safe affordable housing.

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