A New Beginning

After three days in Salamanca to give my brother Dave some time to get over jet lag, and give me a chance to do some laundry, we headed out on the Via de la Plata this morning. It was a treat to walk with my brother and we set a good pace over some very flat countryside that reminded me of the Canadian prairies. The horizon seemed endless and one could glimpse distant villages on the horizon. We decided to only go 16 kilometres today to get Dave in walking rhythm.

The Way was well marked with distinctive yellow arrows, the unique way-marks that point pilgrims in the right direction. This system was started many years ago by a priest who grew tired of having lost pilgrims knocking at his door at all hours. He took a can of yellow spray paint and painted arrows wherever the route became questionable. Before long, every camino route had yellow arrows, some on fancy posts or signs, but most just spray-painted on a wall or a curb or even a tree. The yellow arrows are now a vital part of every camino and every pilgrim is glad they are.

Tomorrow we have to cover 29 kilometres to get to a place where we can reach Zamora in one day. The terrain is flat and the weather cool (down to close to zero at night) and a cold wind blows from the north all day, so heat won’t be a problem. We will spend the Easter weekend in Zamorra, where the Semana Santa is a colorful celebration that is unchanged from the twelfth century.