Day 20: Ventas de Naron to Palas de Rei. Grafitti and Mary stickers
A good day’s walking. We found ourselves hopping in between a few groups, the first the tourigrinos and the other a large family with a few down syndrome kids. As you do on the Camino we leap frogged these groups a few times.
The day was drizzling lightly but pleasant enough. A shortish days walk along country paths, alongside moss covered walls forever following the yellow arrows and yellow scallop shells. The walk from Sarria is also noticeable for the preponderance of grafitti. It’s everywhere, on signs, rocks and walls and it runs the gamut from silly tags to outpourings of love to the inane ‘____ was here’. Today the graffiti was joined by stickers of Mary as some young lad ahead of us with an absolutely huge roll of stickers stickered everything in sight with these stickers. At least his need to place a mark on everything was less driven by personal ego, like all the graffiti before him, and more, perhaps driven by a need to explain his reason for walking.
Cheeky walked well for most of the day but found the last section a bit of a grind on her knees. She’s getting quite sick of taking ibuprofen and looking forward to having to stop take it.
I’m enjoying the walking and have no significant aches or pains. At times I find it hard to walk at the slow pace Cheeky’s knees force us to walk at. On my last Camino I thoroughly enjoyed the walking and would easily get my body into a rhythym whereby my feet and legs would just power away and allow my mind to soar and daydream. My body last time (except for feet that looked like mincemeat from over active blisters) just cruised and I usually walked much faster than everyone else. Like a car in fifth gear. This time round I feel like I rarely get into fourth gear and never get into fifth gear. We walk about half the speed I walked last time and i’m personally finding this a bit hard to come to terms with. My body cries out for a solid bit of walking but I have no intention of walking without Cheeky. I’d rather walk with Cheeky who hobbles along so bravely rather than speed ahead by myself. My camino this time is forcing me to slow down and by doing so i’m taking so much more in. We spend much longer in towns than I ever did before and so I have a much better understanding of the places we travel through. My body may be aching to travel in fifth gear but by travelling in third i’m getting to experience much more of the world around me.