Wednesday, 9 October 2013

In the garden of Eden

Having climbed up to Foncebardon the climb to the Cruz de Ferro was a simple affair. This is the highest point on the whole Camino at more than1500metres. Many were waiting to take photos of the sunrise but I decided to press on. The descent of more than 1000metres was tortuous. At times it reminded me of the paths in the mountains of Chalatenango, and also the entry into the mouth of the serpent at Conques. In the village before Molinaseca the houses were like those of 500 years ago. The views were stupendous with the mountains behind and the hills of Galicia in front. I pressed on to Pontferrada which is famous for its Templar Casle, found a private room for the night and settled down.
Today I met two ladies (Laurie and Marjory ) at the early part of the day and then walked alone. I was not prepared for what I was to encounter. The Bierzo must be one of Spain´s greatest secrets. It  is hemmed in by the mountains that we crossed yesterday and those that we will climb tomorrow. It is a paradise of vines, lemon trees, and vegetables. In the autumnal light, and with a mist, it was like walking in the garden of Eden. At one point the men who were cutting the grapes offered us grapes to eat. At another there were casks of grapes outside a house and inside a man was pressing the grapes in buckets. It felt as if we were transported into medieval times. I stopped at a bar and was offered Garlic Soup with my class of wine. Apparently the owner of the bar was born in London of Spanish and Mexican parents.
The weather has relented and we are blessed with very cold mornings and then cloudless days.
Tomorrow it is the climb into Galicia.
I am worried that my ´Burgos belt´is showing signs of not being big enough!
Yesterday, over a beer, I was reading some of my earlier journal writings and came across this sentence from Eliot:
'The only wisdom that we can hope to aspire to is the wisdom of humility
Humility is endless'
On the camino I have learned a great deal about humility.

1 comment:

  1. Reading what you say about humility and thinking about your encounter described in the last post where there seems to be a competition in gratitude I am reminded of St Paul's letter to the Philippians when he says "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves". Sometimes we have to lead and sometimes we have to be led but in either case there is always something of great significance to be found in both the leader and the led. The best exposition of humility is to recognise the significant in others.