There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope – Bernard Williams.
Hope ever in their hearts our pilgrims greeted the dawning of the 6th day in quiet prayer.
Praying for strength, blister relief, that hope never leave them, a good drink later on.
In these late stages of the pilgrimage, with a few tens of kilometres left to walk, it is hope, perhaps more than anything, that will see them through to the end. Everything they expect, pray for, wish for, need, want at the end of it all is just a hope. A hope that – with the love and support of their fellow pilgrims, and friends and family at home – will light their path, illuminating each footprint yet to be made.
Every problem, every issue, every obstacle is another opportunity to demonstrate their mettle, just another bridge to be crossed.
Together they are an unstoppable force.
Day 6 – not so much a Good Friday as a Long Hot Slog Friday with 24 kilometres to cover and temperatures rising to around 28 degrees. The day’s hike took them through countryside of extreme bucolic beauty, fording streams, looking longingly at ponies, seeing eucalyptus trees, scaring crows. The day ended at an equally idyllic farmhouse, where, as always, good food, good drink and good company were in abundance.
On the way, our dutiful pilgrims stopped outside a small village church to celebrate the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.
Santiago is now within touching distance, so close they can even taste it. The name of the city flows through them with every heartbeat, and every footfall strengthening their resolve, lightening their hearts, filling them with hope.