Living in Santiago de Compostela

Musings, New Leaves

This simple guideblog has been researched and written by a fellow pilgrim and I trust it will serve you well in accomplishing the journey ahead. As you set off into the heart of Gallic Spain I offer you this ancient Celtic prayer to bless you along the way.

May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine full upon your face May the rain fall soft upon your fields

Until we meet again May God hold you In the hollow of her hand.

The Practical Path: This is the shortest and least strenuous stage. In past year 80% was on asphalt road, but recent work by the Friends of the Way of Sain Janies has reduced this to 52%. Effectively half the route is now on pathways much of it through eucalyptus forest, which offers shade from the sun. How ever, if you have walked the Camino Frances you may have become lulled into a false sense of security! Way marking is not as clear or as extensive as on othei routes and there will be 98% less travellers to ask! You will need to stay alert.

Living in Santiago de Compostela Photo Gallery

Mindfulness is the way of the pilgrim to Fisterra. Indeed a high proportion o pilgrims still inadvertently follow the old way marks that direct them along tin main roads, particularly those out of Santiago. Be prepared for the long climb (2.8 km) from Aguapesada up to Carballo/Trasmonte. Extensive woodland here provide a good screen from the relentless rain and wind (or. possibh sun)! While the many rivers may be full (at any time of the year) drinking fountains are few and far between. Fill up before leaving Santiago and refill at the few drinking fonts and bars along the way.

The Mystical Path: We are surrounded by trivia. There is much to distract us from the inner path, but what profit is there in the outward journey if it is not accompanied by expanded awareness? A pilgrim must travel on two paths simultaneously. The tourist will look for the stone altar, the pilgrim an altered state. The one seeks sacred sites the other in-sight. Will you make time today for contemplation and reflection? Will you rebuild the bridge to the source oi your own inner knowing? As Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us in Essays oj the Over-Soul, ‘The faith that stands on authority is not faith.’

The Bible in Spain: I have always found in the disposition of the children of the fields a more determined tendency to religion and piety than amongst tlie inhabitants of the towns and cities, and the reason is obvious – they are le acquainted with the works of man’s hands than those of God. … The scoffers it religion do not spring from amongst the simple children of nature, but are the excrescences of over-wrought refinement. George Borrow

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