My friend Marianne wondered if the young pilgrim who is doing the Camino in silence is missing a good part of the Camino experience.
I would venture to say no, she isn't. I would venture to say that there is no one Camino Experience, that not everyone is looking for the same thing, that everyone walks their own Camino and that everyone's experience is unique unto themselves.
One day back on the Meseta I walked and talked for a while with a young Australian pilgrim who was on the verge of making a major life change and had come to the Camino for some deep thinking and soul-searching. I met up with her again a few days later and she was now walking in silence, which I expect better suited her purpose. As I mentioned before, on the Camino one can find as much sociability or solitude as one desires.
Yesterday we walked about 19 kilometers - about 11.5 miles - from Cacabelos to Trabadelo. In the morning we again saw the lovely illusion of cloud islands that's created when the clouds float below the mountain tops, which look like islands in a white-capped sea.
We walked for about 9.5 k's across the countryside and through small towns,
...until we reached Villafranca de Bierzo, where we stopped for lunch.
Villafranca de Bierzo is a pretty tourist town,
...where people come to stroll through the streets or along the river and sit on the cafe terraces to have tapas and drinks,
We had lunch at a little kebab shop that advertised a special of a kebab, fries and a drink for 5€..
In fact we weren't quite sure what a kebab was, but it turned out to be like a pita except that the bread was more the consistency of a hamburger bun, soft and warm and filled with shaved chicken and beef, lettuce, onions,and tomatoes and topped with a tasty white dressing.
It was really good and and the fries were hot and crispy.
After lunch we walked another 9.5 k's along a highway around a mountain,
A water fountain, always a welcome sight.
...until we reached the town of Trabadelo
....where we stayed at the albergue La Crispeta and had a nice, roomy dorm room and, thankfully, bottom bunks.
And where Tom made a friend.
A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
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