Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meeting The Locals

One of the little pleasures of the Camino, and an oppotrunity to take a break from walking, was when I had a chance to meet the locals.

It wasn't always possible when passing through the cities, as it seems cities all over the world, even in the timeless medieval cities of Spain, people are busy. But it was a joy when we went through Viana and they were celebrating their Patron Saint with a fiesta, complete with parades and a traditional running of the bulls. We could not stop long enough to enjoy a whole day of festivities, but did have lunch at a sidewalk cafe right in the heart of the activities.

In the rural countryside, in the small villages and tiny hamlets, where they live at a more leisurely pace, there were many days when I had an opportunity to talk to local folk, on their farms, in their gardens, or just relaxing in the sun by the side of the road.
I found that they have a great respect for Pilgrims and are warm and friendly, curious about foriegners and open to conversation.
It was a small part of my day that I remember often. One of those little gifts of the Camino that is still very much alive; that I can turn around in my mind, hold up and enjoy; and savor them as special moments in a never ending journey.

I wish you peace, love and laughter

PS-click on photos to enlarge