Camino Day 5: Where the Wind crosses the way of the Stars

Rio Sadar to Muruzabal: 16.6 km/10.4 miles

May 9, 2016

I promised myself to journal every day during my Camino. A written word, however, had yet to materialize. Usually I was bolting to my bed, post dinner, with little energy left to write. Tomorrow became my mantra. My I-pad was in tote for this very reason, as my handwriting is atrocious and later, painstaking to decipher.

Someone stated that during the first third of the Camino, a Pilgrim focuses on the Physical. That focus transitions to the Mental. The final portion transcends to the Spiritual.

My somatic focus was the slightly dead sensations of my extremities and tiredness at day’s end. It appeared most pilgrims followed this pattern of evolution, with the amount of bandages, creams, antiseptics, etc. that had been purchased in this first round. Conveniently located vending machines were devoted to the care of the injured. Pharmacists along the Camino were the front line of defense for the wounded, purportedly pushing needles with threads through full blisters to drain them. My health care background cringed at this thought. Thankfully, my feet thus far had remained sans blisters. They were well prepared and duly roughened from my prior 5 months in rural Nepal.

Appreciation filled with the passing beauty that engulfed the Peregrinos and the Camino trail. This was a lovely day, filled with fields of green and yellow with random lone red poppies scattered within. The rolling landscape swallowed up the little Peregrino dots along the yellow-arrowed path indicating direction. The collage of colors will remain imprinted in my memory.

A slow uphill climb lead to a plateau with wind turbines spinning and buzzing on the surrounding hillsides. The metal sculpted ‘Monumento Peregrino’ spread across the hilltop. An engraved saying stated, “ Where the way of the wind crosses the way of the stars”.

This shrine was featured in the Hollywood movie, “The Way” which centered on the Camino. I noted several comments made and graffiti en route indicating the faux pas of stating the movie as your reason to do the Camino.

There was a hint of rain but not a drop shed. The hostel that was home for tonight, loaned bikes to visit the beautiful, peaceful, 12th century Romanesque Church of Santa Maria de Eunate. The shrine dated back to the times of the Knights Templar, the Guardians of the Camino, and stood by itself off a main road. Happy to have visited this on two wheels versus adding 3.1 km to my Camino the following day.

I skipped the regular hostel pilgrim menu and ate lunch leftovers. Sometimes the volume of food felt too much, usually three courses, for an evening meal.

This was a private hostel that was stylishly designed to give the impression of independence, despite 14 people sleeping in one room. Was a nice respite not to actually see all my bunkmates for the night.

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