We officially passed the 100k remaining mark today. We are now less than 60 miles from Santiago. The excitement is growing, as are the amount of new of pilgrims on the route. We played the 'guess the new pilgrim' game today. You can spot a new pilgrim by the lack of an adequately packed backpack (or any backpack at all), brand new tennis shoes, perfect new shirts, and the lack of a limp or gimp or any injury. Most seasoned pilgrims walk with some type if swagger or limp by this point, and our clothes look faded and worn, as do we.
The atmosphere on the Camino has changed as well. The albergues and restaurants are nicer and cater to a more diverse group. It now has the feel of a vacation or tourism rather than a pilgrimage. Lots of people enter in Sarria to walk the obligatory last 100km (4-5 days). It feels completely different than the past 4 weeks.
I did meet a couple today that are missionaries here in Spain. At first, he told me he was from Kansas, but I picked out his accent as NOT Kansas - It turns out that he has family in Greenville, Texas and Sulphur Springs, Texas and he grew up in Winnsburo, Texas. Small world. We found the we share many of the same beliefs and theories and practices for missions. I spent a lot of time with them today. I hope that we can get together with them after the Camino to share notes and learn from each other.
You may be wondering about Didier. He is doing fine. We saw him this evening and he had just traveled 40k and will do another 40k in the next day or two. His pace is completely different than ours now that we are on flat land or on lots of downhill areas. He can really move a lot faster than we can. I hope we get to meet up again, at least in Santiago, before we part ways.
As for me, I'm good. I plan on spending tomorrow praying all day on the trail as Laurie and I have our usual day of prayer set for this Wednesday (tomorrow). Please keep me in your prayers as well.
Thought I would show you some of the faces of the Camino...