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Yesterday, along the track, we had the unique pleasure of meeting Hendrik, from Canada, whose wife has been following our blogs as we move across Spain, a day ahead of him, and it was a surprise to come face to face.
The Camino is ancient, old enough to be World Heritage-listed, and over some 900 years has developed a body of its own myths which can be treated seriously and literally, or just as ripping good yarns, as you see fit. Here are just two.
The Camino began when the corpse of St James was being transported from Rome to Spain by boat (supposedly stone!), apparently still in perfect condition, when a violent storm washed it off the deck of the boat carrying him. The body washed up some weeks later, on a beach near Santiago, miraculously preserved, but covered entirely in scallops shells. Since then the scallop shell has been the symbol of the pilgrimage walk to see his remains in the Santiago Cathedral. I love the symbolism, since as well as being totally far-fetched and absurd, it also effectively represents the fact that you can start the Camino from many places in Europe, but they all end up at the same spot.
The second myth concerns the beautiful town of Santo Domingo, where we stayed last night. The town has a beautiful church dedicated to this saint, who though illiterate, did much to build roads and bridges for pilgrims in the 12 th century. That much is fact, but hereīs the myth, as well as I can remember it
In the Cathedral now live two chooks to celebrate the legend, an unlikely sight in a church!
As I said, the Camoni is rich in its own mythology.
No blog now for several days as we push on past the big city of Burgos, having already done 250 kms.