Michael Ritchie will complete a lifelong goal of walking the Camino de Santiago
Half way there
Another 23.5 km behind me and I have reached the half way point at day 15. I am aware that this is not a race although racing skills have been helpful in motivating my way up a hill. I walk for 5 or 6 hours and finish by 12 or 1. My pace is my own and a bit faster than most so I cover about 5 km per hour. That works out to be a five hour day for a 25 km section of the Camino. I like to walk early and the latest I have started is 7. As I am walking for over a month and all of it west the sunrise is later each day. Today was a full sun day over the remains of the longest stretch of Roman road in Spain. I stopped in Ledigos as I plan to spend extra time in Sahagun tomorrow and it is only 16 km away. This is problematic as the next day must be either very short or very long. As I am 2 days ahead of the guide book. Two short days should be welcome as I begin the third week of this adventure.
People: there is something unique about the relationships one developed on the Camino. As I left town this morning a woman from Barcelona whom I have seen at four or five stops along the way insisted on taking my picture like on college graduation day. Then another Canadian who lost her walking partner (Marsha from Colorado fell and dislocated her shoulder) insisted on walking with me. I have 5 hours of working on my listening skills and my patience. I was never so glad to get to my stop early and let her continue on. Most are friendly, all are helpful, and all share a certain adventurous spirit that is capable of forgetting the usual comforts and luxuries. One woman told me that the Camino is not for everyone. You must be willing to walk 15 miles per day, rain or shine, sleep in a top bunk among 50 others, and dry your knickers on the outside of your pack as you walk. Picture that.