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Padre Pacito and Barbi (Maria Ciara) studying a map of the Camino, with all the many pilgrims represented on Barbi’s backpack, with love and blessings.

We made it to Lugo! Yesterday, September 24th, was our longest walk of 20 miles. We started off going up (again) about 400 feet, then the general trend was downward. Unfortunately, this part of the Camino is sparse for services of any kind. We were fortunate to find a wonderful little bar and coffee shop open after we had already put 5 miles behind us. Thereafter, we came across a little concession with a few vending machines, and nothing else. However, for the most part it was a spectacular, mildly warm, sunny day . . . there were beautiful Spanish cows (no shortage there), crops close to harvest, and some sweet little chapels along the way.

Lugo is another gem. The longest city-enclosed Roman wall in Europe embraces the old town. Tomorrow we will take a day off the Camino to let feet and knees recover, and enjoy what the city has to offer.

The hike to Tineo was a different story. Cold, rainy and mud-clogged pathway . . . my waterproof hiking boots leaked . . . for 3 miles we slipped, slid, and carefully pulled each step out of puddles and soft, sucking mud.

Mud clogged trails

Sometimes you could take a few steps up on the low stone wall that bordered both sides of the path. Sometimes you could grab onto the barbed wire at the top of the wall for support. I think the cows were entertained. Pilgrim suffering takes all different forms. Mud is not my favorite.

Pilgrims (peregrinos ) are a diverse group of people. As you trek some come and go, who you will never see again. Others, you repeatedly cross paths with and helpful Camino friendships develop. Often you come across someone, walk and talk for a while, then strides change and they move ahead. The next day you see them again and spend a little more time together. Or you run into them at the chosen evening restaurant and have dinner together.

So far we have met Mexicans, Spaniards, French, Australians, Germans, and Californians, to name a few. It takes several meetings before names are exchanged, but unnamed pilgrims do good deeds for one another. We have been saved from long unplanned detours when a thoughtful pilgrim shouted out that we missed a trail marker.

Pacito -ism #4: The Primitivo has been upgraded to a level of 4.0 on the Pacito Scale of Difficulty (the increases are exponential similar to the Richter Scale.)