26: Pontevedra – Briallos

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6v31-34

One of my goals for this camino was to try not to be goal-oriented. And I know there is incredible irony in that statement.

But it was hard not to make this part of the journey into a bit of a competition. There were 56 people in the albergue at Pontevedra, and only 27 beds at the next albergue in Briallos. So we were up and out early and so was everyone else. We were overtaken by pilgrims we knew, and by pilgrims we didn’t. Would we find a bed?

But when we got to Briallos, we were the first there and it made our haste seem indecent. It was 11.30am, the albergue wasn’t going to open until 1pm and the hospitalero wouldn’t check our credencials and collect our money until 8pm… When, by 3pm, there were only six of us in the entire albergue, it became clear that the majority of people had decided to walk a further 5km and pay more than €3 for their accommodation by staying in hotels.

I felt a bit silly that I’d allowed my London self to take over, when for several days I’d not fretted about where we would sleep and had enjoyed seeing other pilgrims on the way. Today, seeing other pilgrims had been a threat not a delight – completely the wrong attitude.


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