Michael Ritchie will complete a lifelong goal of walking the Camino de Santiago
It is interesting to me how an event or phrase or experience taken out of context lacks the profundity of meaning due to the lack of connection with the emotions of the moment. I find myself visiting today the town of Leon and her many architectural treasures. I have been here before. Yes it was 35 years ago when Jean and I dragged young Amanda about the north of Spain to see what Amanda called at the time “more old churches”. ( She was only 5). But to walk nearly 300 miles on the Camino and then enter the cathedral in Leon is a whole different thing. I was blessed today with an early morning fog which made for cool walking and then after checking in to the albergue, the full sun and blue sky making it possible to appreciate the finest stained glass windows in the world. It was a whole different emotion.
Leon, named for the headquarters of the 7th Legion of the Roman army (not the lion) has a long and important history part of which includes the Camino de Santiago. In spite of the fact that the town is a living breathing museum, it is a vibrant Spanish city with all of the pride it deserves.
I have now walked nearly 300 miles and assuming I can find my way out of town in the morning, I will pass the 60 percent mark before second breakfast. You see there are as many meals on the Camino as on a cruise ship. There is breakfast at 7, there is second breakfast about 10, there is lunch between 1-4, there is merienda 5-6, and then there is dinner after 8. I do not know why there are no fat people in Spain. I know why there are less and less fat pilgrims. Walking 15 plus miles a day with a 30 lb pack burns over 5000 cal. per day. Hard to eat enough to keep the wt on.