img_4101All sixteen of the pilgrims from All Souls, Unitarian arrived in Tui, Spain last night. It was a dreary and wet day, but our spirits were high. We collected our credentiales from the Catedral de Santa Maria de Tui, and met for the first time as a whole group in the Hotel Colon to ground ourselves. Associate Minister Shana Lynngood led us in a discussion of our intentions for the trip, and then suggested a meditation for our first day’s walk: Think about how it is with your soul right now on this walk.

                  This morning, some people set out early; others lingered in town. Some walked in groups; others alone. But no matter when we left Tui, we all experienced local people – seeing our scallop shells on our packs, the symbol of the Camino Santiago Compostela – wishing us, “Buen camino,” in Spanish, or “Bom caminho,” in Portuguese. Even the graffiti (shown in the photo) wished us well on our journey.

                  The morning’s walk took us through forests full of birdsong, over small rushing rivers and ancient bridges, past granite corn cribs and along quiet paths. The last several miles ran through an industrial estates – lots of manufacturing plants and lumbering trucks. But even here we found beauty in the mint and fennel that managed to push up along the roadside and scent the air.

                  It doesn’t get dark here till after 10pm. Tomorrow is a long day, over 15 miles, so everyone reluctantly came in from enjoying the cool evening to prepare. Many of the group are planning to walk alone tomorrow, at least part of the way.