Don’t give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring that unlocks the door.
Today was a relatively short day. Less than 20k. I left Villafranca at 9 after a wonderful buffet breakfast and arrived at my destination of Las Herrarias, about 2:30. I took my time and stopped at almost all the towns along the way for a break. I ran into Kevin and Charlotte (London) last night and again several times today. Two questions I pondered today:
1) Am I a “pampered pilgrim”?
As I was eating my swank breakfast and looking out upon the square, I was reading up on the town and all the wonderful albergues and refuges available for lodging. Here are some descriptors-
– Very well known pilgrim refuge. Many pilgrims love the authentic simplicity with rustic rooms, unique patio, and home-grown meals
– Pleaseantly renovated, partly rustic natural stone house with nice patio
– Renovated stone house, daily fresh bed sheets
I wondered to myself if I was missing somthing by booking a private room and not staying in the communal sleeping quarters in true “pilgrim style”. That is when I asked myself, “Am I a pampered pilgrim”? However, as I walked today I thought about Jenny from Maine who hired a touring company to book all her rooms that sounded to be quite nice, Mark from Denver who only stayed where he had a private bath, and Kevin and Charlotte who sometimes booked privates ahead of time or sometimes lived “dangerously” and found a private when they got to town. I also thought about the albergue snoring, disposable sheets and pillow cases, group blankets, shared bathrooms, early risers, and night owls. I came to the conclusion that being a pilgrim is as varied as the path underfoot. There is not one type of path just as there in not one type of pilgrim.
2) Am I a “pilgrim snob”?
Yesterday I walked with two lovely women from New Zealand. They were on Day 1. I was on Day 27. They were excited and full of pep. I could not help but think- you have no idea! Additionally over the last week or so, some of the towns I have been in are starting places for pilgrims who only want to do part of the Camino. When chatting with them, we inevitably ask, “Where did you start?” When I say St Jean Peid de Port, the newbies will inevitably reply “Ohhhhh, wow!!!” I have also seen college groups who take a bus from town to town and then will walk some of the Camino as they go. I can’t help but think to myself, “I started May 24 and have walked every inch of it!” These are the things I have seen and think that make me wonder, “Am I a pilgrim snob?”
Tomorrow there will not be much pondering as I have a very steep climb going from 700M up to 1,300M. I am off now to meet Kevin and Charlotte for a drink and talk about the walk a tomorrow. They are “pilgrim snobs” like me – they started from St Jean!