Camino Portraits (20 May, Juliana Sampaio)

The Camino is portrayed in many ways. For each peregrino, it represents something different; a challenge, a journey of self-reflection, or a chance to meet other travelers from around the world. These symbols and representations are all beautifully portrayed in the paintings of the Albergue de San Miguel. As you walk into this inviting place, you see sunny yellow walls and bright skylights that let the sun shine through. Each wall is adorned with countless vibrant paintings, created by peregrinos. The paintings are colorful and full of life, and show just how artistic and inspiring the Camino can be. As you stand at the top of the stairs of the Albergue during midday, the sun shines on all the paintings and makes the entire room even more colorful than before. This inspiration and positivity are two things that I have noticed help tremendously when walking long days. Although it is challenging, you have to be able to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the Camino. The never-ending greenery and little towns make the walking and soreness just that much bearable. The Albergue de San Miguel and the colorful paintings that decorated each wall definitely made today’s walk bearable, and symbolized to me a beautiful light at the end of a long and flat tunnel.

—Juliana Sampaio