Getting the hang of this

Hola amigos y familia! Day three of El Camino was very similar to the others yet also very different. Similar in that we are finally getting on a schedule, however, the views, emotions, and people we meet along the way are all different everyday. I swear the views of the Spanish countryside will never get old. I am an international studies and geography double major so the landscape and physical geography are beyond amazing to me. The sharp tops of the distant mountains are very different from the rolling blue ridge mountains I grew up in. The scarlet poppies I find a rarity in Botetourt are found filling fields as far as I can see. Sometimes you find that those you are walking with fade into the background among the breathtaking views of España.
Another important part of the camino is the people you meet. Just today I spent time walking with a Londoner named Ian and two Italian men named Fabio and Salvatore. It is amazing to hear the stories of why they walk el camino and what they have experienced. For many, this path is highly spiritual and key to finding out more about themselves. For ourselves it is also important to key into ourselves and our emotions. While walking today I feel like I overcame the first wall and was able to walk all 17 kilometers with relative ease. (As much ease as that could possibly entail). However, as soon as Kat and I came into the city I experienced an extreme low that was aided by a stomach ache, hunger, and exhaustion. The only cure for these is food and sleep (and possibly a “café con leche”). Overall my experience on el camino has already been one I will remember the rest of my life and I have made friends I have grown to know and love. Someday I encourage you to embark on your own Camino, in Spain or elsewhere. ¡Buen Camino, peregrinos!
Olivia White

Visiting Roman baths (and sewers)

The Museo Romano was an amazing learning experience.
My favorite part of the museum was looking at all the artifacts and searching for answers on the worksheet that was provided for us. After we walked though the museum we went on a tour of Roman bath ruins.
We learned about how the Romans picked a easily defendable place on top of a hil and how they built double trenches around the wall to make attacking their fortress even more difficult. The fact that so much of the baths were still intact and that it was possible to visualize where people were bathing hundreds of years ago was pretty cool. Their structural and building prowess is quite impressive that so many of their walls and parts of buildings at still standing today.Overall the museum and tour were a fantastic way to learn about how such a beautiful city was created.
Jacob Byrd

Walk, eat, paint

Today was the first day we actually left from an albergue in the morning. We woke around 7:30 to eat breakfast and make sure our packs were ready for the day. The morning was much colder than I expected, so it was hard to climb out of my warm sleeping bag. Breakfast was simple but yummy…yogurt and fruit. Then we were all ready to hit the road! Today we walked about 15 kilometers for an easy 3 hours. For second breakfast, we stopped at a café/albergue. I had a croissant with ham and cheese…the most delicious thing I have had so far!

Today we stayed in Albergue San Miguel. It is in Hospital de Órbigo. There is a old roman bridge with 13 arches that marks the entrance to the town. I have really enjoyed this albergue. I had the chance to play in a river and paint a rock with a Hokie bird. A family dinner where we collectively cooked and ate was the perfect night cap to the day. Buen Camino!
Ashley Strong


No way to explain The Way

I knew before I began the Camino that there was a culture all its own. But I never could’ve understood it before I started on this journey. And even now, on day two, there’s no way I can begin to explain this way of life, the life of a pilgrim. Each pilgrim is traveling the same road, but each pilgrim has their very own journey; they’re all different. Yet the Way connects us all, for we are all on this road, seeking something to satisfy whatever longing we have in our souls.

And the pilgrims life isn’t a bad one after all.

This is Kat Kolton, signing off.