Oviedo –> Grado –> Salas –> Tineo –> Sumblismo –> Berducedo –> Castro –> A Fonsagrada –> O Cadavo –> Lugo –> Ferreira –> Castaneda –> Amenal –> Santiago de Compostela
How are you all doing today? I am doing great!
First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who has written me notes or commented on my stories as this is all a part of the Camino Way…building a community through shared experiences. It is also very cathartic for me to simply write the story of the day and share what I have observed or experienced, so I appreciate the warm response and participation!
Second, I want to apologize for any mistakes that you find in the stories; I am doing all of my writing on an iPhone in a small stand using a small bluetooth keyboard as I purposefully didn’t bring a laptop or even an iPad on the trip. So pardon the typos that I don’t catch before I publish.
Third, several people have asked me to use Strava or some other app to show where I am so they can follow along. As a reminder, I am on the Camino Primitivo and here is the path I am following:
Here are the towns I am planning to stay in on my way to Santiago:
Oviedo –> Grado –> Salas –> Tineo –> Sumblismo –> Berducedo –> Castro –> A Fonsagrada –> O Cadavo –> Lugo –> Ferreira –> Melide –> Arca or O Pedrouzo –> Santiago de Compostela
After I reach Santiago, I plan to continue my journey on to Cape Finisterre on the coast and ultimately Muxia on the western coast of Spain where I will conclude my Camino.
I am in Castro right now, and my stories are a couple of days behind as I need a bit of time to write these stories. So today’s story will be about the journey from Tineo to Sumblismo, which was my journey a couple of days ago. Since I don’t have Strava on my iPhone (and frankly don’t want to get it), I have been playing around with my Garmin InReach satellite GPS communicator that has the ability to send a message over satellite and put a pin on a map that I can share. Again, I just started playing with it so it only has the last couple of towns on it. You can check out that map here.
Finally, please forgive me if I miss a day or two on these posts. I write either late at night after a long day’s walk or early in the morning, I love writing like this as it makes me happy to share these experiences and feelings with my friends and family. Also practically speaking, it will help me remember all of the wonderful people I have met and places I have been. 😉 And honestly, it’s quite cathartic to write like this as I have so many things to say and share. So… if I do happen to miss a day or two, please forgive me.
Tineo to Sumblismo
Tineo was a very nice mountain town and a great place to stay before launching into the mountains in earnest. After a good bit too short sleep, several of us left the albergue and started the steep hike out of town. I really don’t mind starting out on a steep hike right off the bat as it really gets the blood pumping and typically results in great views. Tineo was really special in this regard…after a climb of ~900 meters here is the beautiful view of the Cantabrian Mountains:
After that initial climb we settled into a pretty nice rhythm as the walk leveled out and we starting to walk through forests, fields, farms and fruit (blackberries actually, but I loved the allure of alliteration;-)):
But most of all on this beautiful day I saw a lot of life on the Camino, from pilgrims to locals, walking the trail, running farm equipment, talking over the stone fence/hedge, or gathering in the local watering hole. For example, we stopped for lunch in Campiello at Casa Ricardo, and this place was clearly the social hub of the little town. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the people converse, eat, drink, laugh and just generally live. I don’t have a lot of pictures to explain but I do have a couple of examples:
It was a wonderful place to stop for lunch as we experienced the joy of the Camino from a locals perspective…it was lovely.
Since my fellow pilgrims had a place to stay there in Casa Ricardo and I didn’t, I continued alone to albergue Sumblismo, about 5 kilometers beyond Campiello. It was cold and it looked like rain so I “geared up” for some wet weather with my rain jacket and gaiters for my boot. Here I am as I headed off for the last walking of the night.
I loved the hike to Sumblismo, especially the hydrangeas and purple flowers (don’t know the name) that I noticed was all over this part of the trail. It was a beautiful way to end my walk for the day.
I arrived at the albergue around 4:30 pm and found myself in the most peaceful albergue yet on the Camino. I loved the simplicity of it, from the outside of the building to my ti room…I felt like a *real* pilgrim.
My humble pilgrim room
The albergue owner, Javier Yela, was a very calm and thoughtful person, having moved from Barcelona and his big job to the peace and quiet of the Camino. He was also a wonderful cook and was preparing the meal when I arrived:
But what I think made the night special besides the simple spaces and Javier the cook were the wonderful people staying there for the night. There were Charlene and Jim from Canada, Albert and Esperanza from Spain, and Jerome, Ken and Kyle from the USA. Everyone was engaged and helped in some way, from helping to set the table, fold napkins or just participate in the evening.
It truly felt like a family, and Javier outdid himself by serving such simple but delicious vegetarian food, starting with pasta in cream sauce, followed by hearty vegetable soup with home made and freshly baked bread, and melon for dessert. It was delicious and very healthy!
After a wonderful family meal, Javier grabbed the guitar and asked if anyone knew how to play. Jim said he played “a little” and that was the understatement of the year! He tuned the guitar and started with some CCR, followed with a beautiful Spanish song (see the video below), and then played songs by REM, the Eagles and John Denver. It was the most fun night for me so far on the Camino, and I am so grateful for this lovely experience. I truly understand what people mean by “life on the Camino” now because I experienced it with others.
As I close my eyes for the evening, I feel the lesson I learned today is that life is found in the little things: friends, family, food, laughter, and all of the little things that make a life. And while I found and felt this on the Camino, it can and should be found anywhere, we just need to slow down long enough to see and more importantly feel it. This is the big lesson for me: I need to slow down and be quiet and experience joy in the simple things in life. Intuitively I guess I knew this, but now I really know. I thank the Camino for this wonderful life lesson.