Camino Postcard 29: Acebo to Villafranca del Bierzo

9.5.19
This morning, we took a taxi from Acebo to Villafranca where we decided to stay for the night. Ellena was feeling better after yesterday’s difficult walk from the Cruz de Ferro but her joints were not yet healed sufficiently for walking to be considered.

In Villafranca, we checked into a private albergue and were given a room with three beds. After a rest, I went in search of food. It was not a wholly successful search – the ‘take away’ that I found on-line turned out to be just a bar. On the way back to the albergue I found a supermarket so bought some drink and snacks. Just round the corner from the albergue there was a bar. Through the raindrops on the lens of my glasses I saw that it sold food – hot food – so dived in.

When I left the albergue, the weather was overcast but dry. By the time I made my way back, however, the clouds were low and it was raining. I was wearing my flip-flops: not good for finding grip on a wet pavement!

Today was the second day on the Camino that we were obliged to take a taxi and do no walking. It would be easy to see this as a failure. I don’t. A failure would have been to give up and go home. Today was in its own way a success, especially for Ellena. It was a success because she persevered on the Camino despite the pain – the physical pain, of course, and the emotional pain of having to take a taxi when conventional opinion all but demands that to do the Way one must walk.

Ellena will disagree with me but I still say that she is one of the bravest people I know: brave for doing the Camino in the first place, and brave sticking at it in defiance of conventional opinion, which can be such a powerful and oppressive force.

As you’ll see in upcoming posts, we had to take a taxi tomorrow and the day after. Of course I would have loved to have walked every inch of the Camino, but if it is a choice between doing that and taking transport and in so doing learning about humility, pain, and even love, I know which Way I would follow.

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