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Camino de Santiago, Day 28: Reliegos to Arcahueja

Camino de Santiago

Found on the Camino.

My feet are finally in decent shape.  No bandages.  Lots of callouses.  Walking is not painful!  This horse has been broken.

Last night I stayed in a private hostel and shared a room with two other people, which was a treat.  The top bunks remained empty.  I heard from Leonardo who we met in Palma.  That was a nice surprise.

This morning I had two coffees at Bar Elvis which is featured in the movie The Way.  The owner, a wiry Spanish man in his 50’s, plays and sings Elvis songs all day.

It was freezing this morning when I left at 9 a.m. and I walked against the cold, whipping wind all day.  Snow-peaked mountains could be seen in the distance.

I walked through the small town of Mansilla de las Mulas, which still has a large part of its ancient walls intact.  Quite impressive.

In a small bar, off the trail, I ordered a coffee and eggs with cheese.  A tall pilgrim asked if he could join me.  This was Theo, from Switzerland, who is 72 and walking the Camino for the fifth time since 2010.  Three years ago, Theo had just divorced and walked the Camino to grieve.  On that trip, he met his current wife and soon afterwards moved to Budapest where they have made a life together.

His eyes were the color of mine. Exactly.  Like looking into a mirror.  He asked if he could walk with me.  He told me he has a dream every night about where he should go next and his dream today was to get to Arcahueja.  I told him I would be stopping in the next town, not Arcahueja.

On our brief walk, he told me about a man named Wolf, in an upcoming village.  He said Wolf was known to be a healer, a mystic that will not take money, is old, humble, and has supernatural powers.  He told me he met Wolf two years ago and after that he walked 160 kilometers in two days.  He couldn’t understand why he had so much energy.  Ironically, when he got to Santiago, they would not give him his certificate of completion, because he did not have enough stamps in his credential – he had walked through so many towns, many at night, not even stopping to get a stamp. He recommended I see Wolf if I had the chance, “but if not, then it’s not part of your Camino.”

I asked him about a place in Manjarin which is about 100 kilometers away.  I’ve been told that there is a man there that performs miracles.  Theo said he’d seen that man and didn’t trust him.  He said the man runs an albergue and he has been told that all who stay there go crazy afterwards. Camino legends abound.  He said that the man dresses himself like one of the Knights of Templar.  I did not like the sounds of it.  Sounds goofy. There are dark energies on the Camino, along with the light.  One must be discerning and protective of themselves.

I got to the next town and Theo moved on.  I sat on the bench for a long while with a feeling that Jamie was just behind me although I had no reason to suspect this because last I heard he was a day behind me.  I waited.  I didn’t like the feeling of the town and so I decided to go one further, all the while looking back.

When I arrived in the tiny village of Arcahueja it “felt” much better.  Five minutes later, I got a message from Jamie that he was in the town I had just left having tea.  Where was I?  I told him to walk to Arcahueja and I would save him a bed.  45 minutes later, I see Jamie in the distance.  It seemed like a long time that we’d been apart.  He looks good and walks differently, more confidently, than the last time I’d seen him.  His face has changed – he looks bright.

We ordered a bottle of the local Vino Rosado and spent hours sharing stories.  Jamie also stayed with Femi in El Burgo Ranero and had a similar transformative experience.  Jamie is happy and reports clarity about his life and his direction.  I feel the same.

Today I walked 16.4 kilometers (about 10 miles).

Photos of the Day:

One Comment

  1. 5th time since 2010! I’m sure it’s a beautiful experience, but mix it up a bit! Lol…

    I can totally visualize your experience Laura….getting that morning coffee and mmmmm! And being active all day, meeting interesting people, deserving that plate of eggs and cheese or whatever and seeing new stuff every day. I miss it. The only new people at this point in my life are the staff in the new coffee shop I go to every day…

    I’m totally interested in people like Wolf and the miracle healer. Light or dark, decipher for yourself…..and hope for the best!

    160km in 2 days! WOW….

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