We spent the night in a vineyard in Canedo, where they produce wine and sell wonderful produce. In the crisp morning light, Katherine Penn, a pilgrim from Dallas, led us to the oven where a worker was cooking hundreds of red peppers.
Life is simple here. Little has changed in the last few hundreds of years. I bought a book about the customs and ancient traditions of this region in order to learn more. I love learning about and reflecting upon a simpler way of life.
We had a fine walk. Along the way, we met “Thomas,” who hails from the same town in Ireland as the poet Seamus Heaney. The town has several men named Seamus, so Heaney was known as “Famous Seamus.”
Thomas’ hair was thinning, and his forehead was sun-burned. So, one of our pilgrims, Edie Morrell, insisted that he take her baseball cap. Thomas said, “No,” but Edie prevailed. Thomas had misplaced his cap in an albuerge (hostel). Edie’s gift deeply touched him. Two strangers connected on the Camino in an act of generosity and kindness.
We later learned that it was Thomas’ birthday. He is walking the Camino alone. Our group surrounded him and sang happy birthday. We asked him to join us for lunch. It was another Camino moment, people doing what people ought to do but often fail to do. The Camino truly invented random acts of kindness. Truly this pilgrimage group is an astonishing team of people.
We crossed from Castile y Leon into Galicia, the final “autonomia” or independent region through which the Camino passes. We walked to O Cebreiro – a Celtic village sitting on a hilltop, where the round houses date back for many centuries.
That evening, we were hosted at a family’s estate that has been transformed into a rural hotel or posada. Singers entertained us. We ate, drank and were merry and closed the day with a cup of “queimada,” my favorite Spanish drink.
With love and prayers from Spain,