Day 23 – Montreal-du-Gers

Since I made it all the way to Condom yesterday, today’s stage was very short. 18 km (11 miles).

One of the most joyful parts of the day is the morning as you walk out of your starting town. It’s cool. It’s usually quiet and often locals greet you with “Bonjour” or “buon chemin” (“good way” or “good camino”).

For me, the hardest part is approaching the finishing town. The last 3-4 kilometers seem to take forever.

Bill, can the Camino be enjoyed by a non-Christian?

Yes, definitely. The majority of pilgrims seem to be non-believers or at least it’s not the focus of their journey. That’s been true of all the people I have encountered in books, podcasts and here in France.

Of course, when you spend this much time in self-reflection and out in nature, even unreligious people report having spiritual experiences on the Camino.

While you don’t have to be a Christian to be a pilgrim, Christianity, particularly Catholicism, is found all along the Camino. Each day you see 3-4 different churches, and crosses can be seen everywhere. There are Pilgrims’ blessings and masses you can attend in the larger towns, as well.

I found it interesting that one atheist that I had dinner with talked about the positive emotional response he had whenever he entered a beautiful church on the Camino. He attributed it to the history and architecture, I think there may be something else at work too. 😉

This bridge marks 1000 kilometers left to Santiago. (620 miles.)
Many towns mark the Camino with these markers every 50 meters or so. I still enjoy seeing these, because after all the years of anticipating this journey, it reminds I’m actually here!
The town square in Montreal-du-Gers. I’m staying at a place just down the street from here tonight.
I went through the walled village of Larressingle on today’s hike. It’s France’s smallest fortified village. One of my favorite sites so far. You can imagine people locking themselves in here when being attacked.
Inside Larressingle.
More inside of Larressingle.
More inside of Larressingle.

5 thoughts on “Day 23 – Montreal-du-Gers

  1. So happy to see that you appear to be feeling well and that your shin splits have not derailed your journey too much.

    So it’s been 3 weeks now with a minor amount of deviation from your plans, what has been the most unexpected delight you’ve experienced so far?

    Side note – love your videos and I laugh at and with you! Your trip up the tower was great!

    1. Haven’t added it all up but I think I’ve done about 275 miles. I’ve missed about 50 due to injury.

      The total walk from Le Puy to Santiago is about 900 miles. It’s another 100 if I go onto the ocean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s