Walking Under The New Moon

This morning, I posted a picture on Instagram of hikers on the Camino de Santiago walking through the ruins of the San Anton Abbey near Castrojeriz. Ahead, a full moon hung in the sky as dawn painted the sky a beautiful hue of pinks and gold. I remember the morning so well.

I had left Hontanas at 5:45 am, earlier than I had planned. I hadn’t slept that well. My bed was thin and on a top bunk that swayed with any movement. I thought I might topple off at any moment. Like so many things about travel that I love, one experience leads to another. If I hadn’t left so early I wouldn’t have walked with the moon.

The trail out of Hontanas was beautiful. It meandered through the hills. Birds chirped in the grey pre-dawn light. Everything radiated a soft, ethereal blue, shimmering under the full moon. For an hour I had the trail all to myself. I walked in silence enjoying the delicate moments string themselves together, playing off each other like the melody of a song.

My breath hung in the air, and my boots squelched in the mud. It had rained during the night, but today promised beautiful weather. As I walked, I heard someone approaching from behind. I turned to see Gionvanni, my Italian friend I had met way back on day 1 in Roncevalles. Gionvanni was gaining quickly, the sound of his footsteps squelch-squeching growing closer. Gionvanni had stayed in the same albergue with me and obviously had the same idea to leave early. We chatted briefly before he walked on dancing and singing. Oh, the Italians. They know how to live.