Writing from Ruitelán – Day 23


The pure joy of the camino is the walking. Waking up as you leave yesterday behind to walk another 20-30kms feet first into today. Peter from Canberra who I chatted briefly with on the trail does this every year, simply for the joy of going for a long walk and the simplicity of the routine. He had a lot of interesting things to say. Including ‘let’s be honest after an hour we will have exhausted most topics and it’ll be time to move on’. We did only talk for 20 mins or so so I guess we have another 40 mins up our sleeve if we meet again ;).

Days on the Camino – 23

Kms – Today 34 kms.

Starting point today – Camponaraya, Spain.

End of the day – Ruitelán, Spain.

Number of girls in Africa educated – 23

Total funds raised so far – $6995.00. Goal is $10 per km so $7,690.00 just $695 to go!

If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.

Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress.

Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.

Today was dedicated to – The Texan A team! Who make us laugh. Glad tomorrow you’re back on the trail!

Accommodation – A pre booked Hotel (€20 each). My sister does the bookings and works out how far we’ll go tomorrow while I’m doing the blogging. It’s easier when we play to our strengths. I’m not as in to the research but on the day I’m the map chick!

Food highlight – It’s possible I exceeded my weekly bread allowance on this morning’s loaf! It was a big day so I loaded up with the first coffee while the Italians were having their first beer at that break.

When we arrived at our accommodation in the afternoon the kitchen was closed. The gorgeous all rounder who works here warmed me some of the homemade croquettes. Heaven.

And the pilgrims meal had cabbage and bean soup which was delicious. I hope we don’t end up regretting that!

I’m starting to wonder what I’ll crave when I return … I’m thinking I’ll want more colour and summer fruit.

In a word(s) – Yesterday’s gone.

This guy is on a very long ride. In this moment this morning he was only about 200 kms from Santiago. His cardboard sign reads Rome to Santiago!

These two are on a long walk too. A long walk through life and the seasons as they plant their next crop together.

You’ve probably noticed I have a thing with all the different doors. I’m also intrigued by the houses along the way. Look at this balcony, would you stand on it? I thought not but those big beams underneath are strong load bearers.

Another yellow marker and a constant reminder of which way to walk. In time when you’ve built your confidence and strength m you might find yourself beginning to play around.

Today we took the road a few times rather than follow the trails into the villages and we opted for a peasant trail instead of the main that had a shorter distance into town.

Perhaps the greatest challenge of the camino is not the walking of it or the moments in which you uncover your truths but what happens after. How you take it all home.

A new friend says that she has sharpened her samurai sword and upon her return she will be ready to slash what she doesn’t need in her life.

Another says she will be conscious about her energy. Where it’s going, who she gives it to and to be considered in what she uses it for.

Me? I’m not sure my truths have been deeply profound. Possibly because I’ve been on a camino towards the good life for a few years now. I consider my life to be a Nicely Slashed Life and I’m pretty well practiced in protecting my energy and time. And of course that’s ongoing, everything life needs maintenance.

For me the greatest truth has been the absolute joy of daily walking, long walks. I wonder … could I be someone who committed to walking everyday? Simply for the sake of joy alone. What changes would I need to make at home to allow this to happen. I know a few of you will say get a dog, sorry four kids is enough for me!

Am I like Peter would I come back every year? No, I don’t think so. Unless I have a month to kill ;) I have too many other hikes that I’d like to go and do. The fjords in Norway are calling me. Then I had this other thought that I could bring each of my kids one at a time. If you walk the last 100kms you will receive a compostella. I’m not big on certificates and trophies but one for completing a 100km walk I think that’s character building. That then thought developed into should the six of us come in the October to do it? I’m already walking forward.

Hmm. Yes I see ‘my’ camino as a reaffirming life experience. I’m happy with the life I’m walking with my family and friends … and I’ve realised that while they’re far from perfect my legs are darn good load bearers. I’ll definitely be respecting them more.

Buen Camino!

Fran xx

ps Lizzy no sticks! Knees strong, maybe when I’m older.

pps There’s treasure to find Janet.

3 thoughts on “Writing from Ruitelán – Day 23”

  1. Well my friend, the whole lot seems a treasure! The light, the shadows, vistas, that balcony, yes the doors (I have been noticing that you like the doors!) The rabbit of course, and I am always about the food!
    Today my eyes prickled when I saw the ‘gardeners’. They would know a thing or two about life I think :)
    I’ve just sent a loving ‘Buen Camino’ to you as I watched a swallow dancing in the morning sky here xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Fran you have great legs for walking. Not sure how far my spindly, long ones would carry me but I’m keen to find out.
    I would have to do this walk with someone and choosing that person would be quite critical I would imagine. What would you do if half way through the hike your walking mate said ‘no more’? Do many people give it up part way through? Injuries would surely be a factor.
    P.S these are questions to myself Fran. No need to answer them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. But Fran with four kids you have four dog walkers! Seriously Milo ( Benny is happy for a short stroll and sleeping) has given us the gift of much much longer daily walks. And nick rides with her. Even if I’m struggling with time like this morning when each of the kids couldn’t find things they needed for school and the morning went pear shaped I had a dog that needed to be amongst the trees so out we went . I love the company but the space she gives on a walk! And you’re a runner too, even better. I do get it though that it adds too much with 4 kids.
    Loving all your pics, the buildings, houses and doors and little stories your sharing about other walkers. So interesting Fran.
    Can’t believe your so far into your journey. I really can’t wait to chat when you get home.
    Lots of love to you and your sister

    Liked by 1 person

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