There are many types of camino experiences. The French way is full of people. Over 200 people start every day. You get to know people and meet them over and over. You become friends and sometimes a community.
The Portuguese way is much quieter. With much fewer pilgrims there is much less interaction. Most of the pilgrims begin in Porto. Just over 200 km from Santiago. The first 400 Km is generally very quiet.
I chose the Camino de Fatima. This one is even more quiet. I spent the whole day walking and did not see another pilgrim. It was a good day!
Have you realized how noisy we have become? Noise when we wake up, noise to fall asleep. Social media interrupting all day. The sound of silence is beautiful. To spend a day only speaking to God is amazing. Reflect on the noise in your life right now, the number of interruptions and attention grabbers that constantly await you. These divide your day into short bursts of attention. It is making us show lol and unproductive.
Building culture requires leisure. This requires silence and discipline. We have a long way to go.
At around noon, I stopped in a gas staton to get a cold drink. I had finished 20 km and had 3 Km to go. Because I am not on a usual camino route there are no pilgrim hostels laid out. So for two days I need to plan carefully. I checked the locals and then google, and realized that the town that I was heading to had no hostel or hotel or any accommodation. There was one 30 minutes walk from the gas station, and then a couple hours walk after that. It was a good thing that I stopped. Or the day would have been very long. Out of silence we hear a different voice, we receive different directions. We are taken care of in a different way.
I got a room in a Casa Rural. It has its own lake and beautiful house. The owners are architects. You can see the beauty in every part of the house. Today God spoke to me through silence and beauty.
The interruption was as profound as the silence. Because of it I have a roof over my head and meals. This too is paradox. God is in both.