Great things are won by great dangers – Herodotus.
This is not to say that walking is a particularly great danger, but when one considers that this man (pictured below) turned to metal on the trail, one begins to appreciate some of the risk involved.
As the famous proverb goes: every thorn has its rose. Every challenge, every sacrifice, every effort of will comes hand-in-hand with beauty, a reward, a great thing in some form or other. Although this reward might not be obvious, it is there, and it is up to us individually to find and define it. This, I think, is what it means to be a pilgrim. To sacrifice comfort, energy, time… sanity for the potential rewards of connecting with one’s fellow man, connecting with oneself, connecting with a higher power, or understanding something more of the world.
And on the third day, they walked some more. This was the shortest day so far in terms of distance traveled. It started with following the Valcarce River along its valley, then ascending, across the border between Leon and Galicia, to the unusual village of O Cebreiro.
This village gains its reputation through the continued use of traditional thatch-roofed huts called pallozas. How very appealing.
Our pilgrims also stopped to visit a more conventionally built building, the Samos monastery.
Here, they took the time to construct a beautiful fire hazard.
And admire Sophia Loren – the new Madonna
Back on the camino they eventually come across a herd of cows.
This gave some of the hungrier members of the group an idea…
Lunch!… Poor cows. But they should be happy to have made such a sacrifice, the reward of filling someone’s belly surely makes it worthwhile. Perhaps the cow should have read some Herodotus.
Notice that, despite the heat and exhaustion, smiles still shine through.
Even nettles harbour butterflies – me