The moon is already shining like a heated opal in the dusky sky as the pilgrim’s weary legs carry him towards the village where he plans to rest his head for the night.
Having left behind the foothills of the Pyrenees, he is making his way through the fertile land of La Rioja where row upon row of vines, struggling with the load of bulging grapes awaiting the harvest, line the route.
After dumping his rucksack in the vast municipal dormitory filled with the chatter of pilgrims from all corners of the world, he decides to climb the steep hill to the tower that looks over the neatly combed fields below. Leaning back against the stone still warm from the heat of the afternoon sun, he feels his aching feet gently throb.
Retreating into the stillness within him, his gaze falls upon the dusty track which snakes through the fields in the direction he has just come. He is content he thinks, at harmony with himself and the land. This pleasure he is experiencing is Mother Nature’s seal of approval.
Clutching his scallop shell in the palm of his hand he thinks of the countless pilgrims who have gone before him. Pinned to different worlds but connected through the steps he is now retracing.
For what answers were they searching?
Still questioning why he is here, he doesn’t know what answers lie ahead of him.
But that he is told is the magic of the Camino.