This is the day that we passed the 100km marker. Some nice German pilgrims took our picture at the momentous marker. I’ll add the picture after we get home since we are still stuck using internet cafes to be able to communicate. This one is 1 euro for 24 minutes.
The atmosphere on the Camino changed today. As noted in the last post, you must walk the last 100 km to receive the certificate at Santiago. This has more than doubled the number of pilgrims on the trail and changed the type of person we are seeing as well. The trail seems noiser, there is more garbage along the route and there are a lot of people not carrying sbackpacks or at least carrying small ones. The level of commercialism has gone up as well. Commercialism here is actually quite low, nothing like Niagara Falls, but the number of cafes and refreshment stands has gone up as have the prices at these establishments. Where the prices are not up the quality and quantity supplied is lower than it was.
I guess it is just human nature to do as little as possible to receive the prize and to take advantage of a flood of people carrying money right past your door.
Last year some 270,000 people finished the journey, mostly in the spring and summer months. If 180,000 of them did it during that time and walked 20km/day there would be 50 people on every km of trail. Today we saw that sort of concentration.
With it all, we still walk mostly alone, just J and I. Sure we see people ahead and behind, but their Camino is theirs, and ours is ours. A little like life. While we live with others around us all the time, each one of us walks the trail of life on our own. We help each other along the way, but each of us walks a unique journey.