June 19: Santander Rest Day!!
It may seem to the reader that there are an awful lot of frequent rest days, but one needs to remember that these pilgrims are on their feet for anywhere from eight to ten hours a day with the constant pounding of the soles against the roadway. May not seem like a lot -- but let me assure you, it is. We figured the early pilgrims either had very tough feet or they rested a great deal. Pilgrimages are not meant to be rushed -- especially if one wants to introspect and reflect and absorb one's environment. It is very hard to do any of the above mentioned, when all one's head can do is focus on the pain of the body. So -- rest days become a requirement.
That is a long winded explanation why we like stopping for several days in the same spot. I'll take any excuse to slow down and "smell the roses"!
Santander is a large city situated in the state of Cantabria -- the capital in fact. Nestled along side the sea, the buildings flow from water's edge up the hillside. Most of the structures are from long ago giving a feeling of antiquity. The weather today turned from drizzle to rain, but we ducked and darted among the shops exploring most of the old town. A trip the to the main post office lightened my load -- backpacks are meant to be worn on the back full of the necessities of life. Mine has been buried in my duffel bag for over a week serving no one and creating a large back ache every time I try to move my bag. Seemed once again that the goal of a pilgrimage was to shed those possessions that carry no value. Backpack had to go -- it had no value!!! And --- it seems that I am not the only pilgrim in Santander that thinks this way. Met a couple in the post office doing the same thing -- the Camino teaches you how to shed!!!
What does have value, however, is that the Spaniards have placed a chocolate shop right next door to the hotel. Chocolate fondue is the plan for the 630pm snack break!!! Life of a pilgrim on rest day is very hard. But alas, tomorrow it is back on the road. At least we will have "carbo" up in preparation to a long stroll.
Pilgrim Healthy Food!!!!!