|A bit of breakfast in La Franca|
We had our breakfast on the road shortly after leaving our hotel at 8:30, and then carried on following the Camino waymarks until we reached Buelna where shortly thereafter we veered off the N634 and onto quieter paths. We only had to do a few kilometers on the 634 but that was enough to ensure we would avoid this road at all costs. The traffic on this main coastal road was heavy, and a major road construction project brought dust and more heavy trucks to our immediate neighborhood. We moved along the off road path (E9) and followed it the rest of the day until, just outside of Llanes where we hopped back on a much quieter road for the final few kilometers to our hotel. Today was a fun day in that the scenery was quite pleasant, and the off road path was easy, and quiet, but the best part of the day was meeting up with Father Tom from Anchorage, Alaska. He is a Catholic priest, on sabbatical, walking the Camino del Norte. As it turns out Fr. Tom knew many people from the Portland area that we knew including our pastor from St. Mary's Cathedral, Monsignor Pat Brennen, and our former archbishop the most reverend John Vlazny. He had a big smile on his face as he recalled his many good times with these mentioned, and his many other friends from our area. He was enjoying his Camino, and was walking slowly, and alone. He said it wasn't his intention, but it just worked out that way. He struck us as a quite a nice guy, and we enjoyed the short time we had walking together. He is heading for the Primitivo as well, but it is unlikely we will meet up with him there. We are just on two different schedules. This is too bad for it would have been fun to spend some more time with this very happy priest.
It is now 6:30, and a Robin and I are sitting in a sidewalk bar enjoying a cold drink while we wait to pick up our laundry. We see many pilgrims coming into town looking very tired and hot. This is the pilgrim life, set out in the morning ready to deal with whatever comes your way, and then drag into town, at the end of the day, weary from dealing with just that. Day after day the scenario repeats itself as you inch along some mental map of where you hope to arrive. It takes some time to slow down to the point where these incremental movements are enough to sustain you. But, once this is done then the overall journey guides you, and you are less troubled by the events of any single day.
Late entry. As Robin and I walked alongside the quai into town she looked up and saw some laundry hanging from an open window. She promptly offered that looks like Father Tom's shirt. It turned out it was. He wound up joining us for a post walk beer, and then we all headed off to dinner. It was a wonderful evening made special by Fr. Tom's warm personality. Great close to a great day.
|Camino path leaving La Franca|
|Fish from a truck|
|Father Tom from Anchorage, Alaska|
|They are getting closer|
|The E9 path|
|GR path marker (E9)|
|Flower shot of the day|
|Llanes harbor entrance|