Friday, February 23, 2018
Travel

On the Camino de Santiago, Day 22: A rejuvenating visit to The House of the Gods (a.k.a. Pilgrim Paradise)

Day 22: Hospital de Orbigo to Murias de Rechivaldo: 22.3 km, 6 hours. Total for Days 1-22 = 520 km (323 miles)

There are moments I think of the people I love and there are moments I remind myself to think of the people I love. But mostly I think only of the present, the people who walk with me and what the walk will bring me today.

Exercising the greatest care so as not to make a sound, I climbed up to my bunk last night and slipped into the thin silk liner that has kept me warm and safe the past 21 nights. Lying there, it occurred to me that here I am sleeping next to nineteen of my closest friends, and I don't even know their names.

Every night I fall asleep accompanied by the snoring of the man three bunks down, the creaking of the bed as the person underneath turns in his sleep, and the disruption of alarms going off and people waking up every half hour, sometimes as early as four o'clock. Last night I took my earplugs out and listened to the stirs and snores, and I smiled thinking about the joy these sounds bring me.

I've walked with these people for hundreds of kilometers. I've shared meals with them. I've handed my unfinished plate of spaghetti to a man across the table so he could eat the rest. I've examined other pilgrim's blisters and rashes. I've dissected the fate of humankind, the origins of religion and the purpose of language with people I'd only just met that day. I am grateful for my time with them – whether it be a few seconds or minutes or days.

I have an abundance of appreciation for everything I've experienced and everything that is still to come on my journey. I am so sad to think that my days on the Camino are coming to an end. But that day is not today, and today I can only do today. That's more than enough for me.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

David of La Casa de Los Dioses, a beautiful surprise at the top of a small climb. David has been running this donativo (donation-only) rest stop for pilgrims for 8 years, and is one of the more beloved people of the Camino.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Self-service juices, breads, coffee, teas, sweets and a small donation box.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Pilgrims enjoying fresh fruit under the cool shade.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

It was such a gift to reach this beautiful place. I could've spent half the day lounging here.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Many words of gratitude for David and Casa de los Dioses.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Palacio de Gaudi, Astorga. I took a quick walk through the city. I've learned that I much prefer small towns to cities.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Sleeping dog at the albergue.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

When I first arrived, there was a small girl hugging and squeezing this gentle and very patient dog. She spoke rapidly to me in Spanish. I managed to understand a handful of her words.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

I didn't mean to take this photo, but it does capture my view for much of the day. The albergue had a huge garden where I napped, read and relaxed. Before bed, I walked out once more to see the stars and discovered four horses in the yard next to the garden. They belonged to four pilgrims making their pilgrimage on horseback.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Side two of my Camino passport after 22 days.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

The stamp for my albergue for the night, Albergue Casa Rural Las Águedas, in Murias de Rechivaldo.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi, 29, of St. Petersburg, FL., is a teacher at Country Day School in Largo, FL. She is currently in Europe walking the 500-mile Camino De Santiago. She is sending the Times a daily blog post about her solo journey, which is expected to last 33 days, ending on August 4, 2017. You can e-mail Kelly at [email protected], though you might not hear back until after she returns.

Read the post for Day 23 of Kelly's Camino.

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