Monday, April 14, 2003

October 25, 2001
Palas de Rei- Arzua (sunny/warm)
17.9m/28.6km - 443.5m/709.8km

I have been walking for 28 days and it still feels like a dream. I feel I am walking in the space between dream and reality. I know this is real but at the same time I move through a dream. Every day as I walk I question why I am here. What made me come here? I have finally figured it out and the reason is simple, so simple it sounds stupid to me. I have come to put my fingers into the finger marks in the Tree of Jesse column. This is why I have walked almost 500 miles, to be worthy of putting my hand on the Tree of Jesse column. Am I crazy?

The closer we get to Santiago the harder it is to keep walking. My mind is in Santiago and not here where I walk. It is the same trouble I had with Leon. I grit my teeth and plod on.

When we reach Melide we stop for lunch. B carries the section of the Michelin map of Spain that shows the Camino route. Every once in a while she pulls it out and we look and see how far we have traveled since St. Jean. The distance from St. Jean to Santiago measures about 25 inches on the map. B has drawn a thick line across the map marking the route. Each time I look at the map my eyes start at St. Jean and follow the line to where we are that day. Each time we look at the map we marvel at how far we have walked. Today when I look at the map my eyes follow a long thick line that slithers across the map and stops two inches short of Santiago. We've walked that far? We've walked almost all the way across Spain? Incredible.

Somewhere around Ribadiso do Baixo we stop at a cafe on a hill for a Coke break. There is a group of Australian tourist there. It's funny, after a while you can tell the tourists form the pilgrims. Tourists seem to be louder and travel in large groups. They also give off a different vibe, as we used to say.

The refugio in Arzua used to be the old School of Music and the inside looks spanking new after the remodel. There are steel rafters in the sleeping area and the upper bunks are so high you can touch them while sitting on the bed. The rafters are so close I use the one by my bed to hang my wet laundry on. When I take my boots off tonight I realize I dislike them intensely and decide to throw them away when I get back to my sister's house. When I look at them all I remember is pain. I brought flip flops to wear instead of my boots at the end of the day, but these are thin and almost as uncomfortable to wear as my boots. I think I will buy some sports sandals when we reach Santiago.

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