Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Paul on the Road : from Sarria

Author: Paulo Coelho

Two Swedish Ladies

I headed out relatively early from Fonfira and made my way down through the green meadows which reminded me so much of the area in which I was born. Alone on the path for some hours, I was able to collect my thoughts and reflected on the last two weeks. As if by magic, I was walking for the first time in weeks without, or at least with considerably less pain. This allows one to really enjoy the surroundings, and Galicia is truly beautiful… Rosa de los Vientos has a right to be proud of her country. I was also walking at a pace which allowed me to inhale the pure and simple beauty of this magnificent countryside, and you have the feeling that you simply become one with the entire universe…

I have also finally learned to stop and rest… for a coffee & a chat with people i`ve gotten to know along the path. In all I stopped 3 times on the way to Sarria and eventuelly met back up with Nuria from Barcelona and in silence we made our way in the heat of the late afternoon to the first small Alberge we could find. Having made a quick tour of the small rural town, I returned to the Alberge which had it’s own small bar. For lack of ingenuity, I ordered a simple local snack and sat down in the somewhat cramped restaurant, where two ladies from Sweden were obviously having fun with non-other than the Englishman who had celebrated his birthday in Fomfria the night before. He was as surprised to see me as I him, and I asked him if had made up his mind to carry on the Camino after all… “Oh no, I’m just visiting a friend in town” he said… and at that moment, who should walk in but a young lady from Holland whom he had tried to rescue on the path with his horse the day before… tired and somewhat disoriented from the heat of the hot afternoon sun, she sat down next to our knight in shining armour who quickly attempted to find a replacement for his previously rejected dinner date (no names ;). The poor dutch girl didn’t have the energy to say no, so Sir Prancelot was happy once more.

The two Swedish ladies headed out for a walk and following her quick shower, the young dutch girl and our noble ex Pilgrim rode off into the night…;)

After a while the two Swedish ladies (still don’t know their names) came back and sat themselves down with Nuria and I for a chat. They mentioned that they were extremely happy since having left their stones on Cruz de Ferro and that a few extroadinary experiences had already given them something to think about since their journey began in Leon. As they were walking beyond a down from O Cebreiro, they had wished they had two sticks to ease and support their weary legs and as they turned the next corner, there lay two sticks at the side of the path. Amazed, they picked up the sticks and to their utter surprise, they saw immediately that they were exactly the right size according to their consecutive arms lengths… wooow… and they told of second experience (no such thing as coincidences of course) wherby they had complained of fatigue with the need to sit down for a while, and under the very next tree they were astounded to find two flat stones… as if awaiting their beckon call… ;)

After a good nights sleep, this time with no snorrers, we headed out early in the direction of Portamatin… the two Swedes supported by the sticks they had found which they intend to take back home with them…

Till tomorrow from Portamarin
Love, Paul

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