I kind of cheated today. I COULD have asked to get driven back to Mazarife to continue on the Camino this morning. But why put my host to so much trouble? (I’m so selfless, aren’t I? Not…) So I started out with about 9 km of walking that I didn’t do between Mazarife and Villavante. Saw what I missed while driving yesterday. Completely happy with my decision!
Another beautiful weather day. Hot but some breeze though not as much as yesterday. Flies were a bit of an annoyance throughout the day. Funny, I never notice them back home…
In Puente de Orbigo, there is a long bridge from the 13th century (first picture). On it, a knight was said to have defended his honor after losing the love of a beautiful maiden. He successfully jousted all the knights who challenged him on that bridge until the 300 lances he vowed to break were broken. He then travelled the Camino to Santiago to give thanks for his “freedom from the bonds of love”. This might have been the inspiration for Don Quixote. As I crossed the bridge I thought of my bonds of love. The bonds that are gone (my marriage) and the bonds that are shifting (as my children leave home to begin their adult lives) and the bond that I need to strengthen — loving myself. As they say, you can’t love another unless you love yourself. And I want to deepen my love towards others so that I can more fully live in service to others in this bonus life. This sabbatical and the Camino are a first step toward knowing and perhaps loving / appreciating myself. Many of us can learn to love ourselves a bit more — not in a selfish way, but in order to appropriately self reflect and know ourselves to do what’s best for ourselves and others.
I ended my walk in Astorga. A really lively, beautiful town with another Gaudi building (last picture). My hotel is right across the street!