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Greetings All,

After much trial and error trying to get these photos up on the blog, I think they’re good to go. Hope you enjoy them!

Be Well,

Jake

 

Where it all began. The albergue in St. Jean Pied de Port.

  Some gear drying out after a downpour.

Some of our gear drying after a downpour.

Two historic castles, sitting in a farm field outside Pamplona.

  

  An impending storm over more Spanish farmland.

Me and some pilgrim friends at an albergue.

  

     One of the many breathtaking cathedrals along the Road.

More walking-mates, in a church/albergue.

  

A poor photo of the end of the pilgrimage: Santiago de Compostela

The walk to the Atlantic from Santiago.

  

The end of a 32-day journey, at Cape Finisterre, Spain.

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Greetings All,

El Camino de Santiago brings a brand new meaning to the concept of a ¨road trip¨for me. As I mentioned in my last post, I´m right now traveling across the entirety of Northern Spain on foot along the ancient pilgrimage road that leads to Santiago de Compostela. The city holds the remains of Santiago, or Saint James, one of the disciples. So, for this next post, I bring you a view of my journey across Spain. It´s not exactly a slice of life at Bates, but it certainly is a slice of life thanks to Bates, since the money for this trip came entirely from the Phillips Fellowship that I received from Bates.

As I said, the Camino is historically a Catholic trail, but in the 17 days that I´ve been walking I have found mostly other seekers somewhat like myself, who do not identify as Catholic, or even as Christian, but who walk the Camino for other reasons. Interestingly, most people who I´ve spoken with–and they come from all over the world–are at major junctures in their lives, and are walking to create space in their heads, so that they can make a more informed decision about their next step. Not completely unlike one of my goals for this trip. For example, one of my friends on the road, a young South Korean, is literally 3 weeks out of his mandatory 2-year stint in the South Korean army, and is getting his first real taste of freedom in many months here in Spain. He´s not sure about how to continue at school, and is hoping to figure out a few things here.

There are so many characters on the Road, some of them totally loony, but I´m consistently amazed by everyone I meet. This older French guy was nice enough to give me half a bottle of wine after he had had his fill. Another time, these two chatty Spanish ladies (I speak no Spanish, by the way), were talking a mile a minute while informing me that the hostel I thought was up ahead did not exist, and so called their friend with a car and gave me a little lift to the next town, and then toured me around its sights! Awesome.

After 500 km of walking, I´ve seen some of the most beautiful sights of my life, without question. The landscape here is bursting with history, unlike anything we have back in the U.S. There are old ruins from times long since passed all over the place, just lying about in fields or in old neighborhoods alongside computer stores and laundromats. The cathedrals are so impressive, be it because of their delicately and intricately carved exteriors, their ornate interior worship nooks, or at the other end of the scale because of their spartan character. You don´t have to be Christian to be moved. And, of course, the Spanish countryside is beyond description, so I won´t really try here. I´ve been taking pictures, but I forgot a legit camera, so I´ve been using disposables. If any of the photos end up being worth it, I will post them when I return to the states.

I´ve got 300 km to go on this journey, and no more time for internet in this hostel, so I must be off. Until next time!

Be Well,

Jake

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