One of the most special moments on The Camino is an unexpected, unplanned encounter with an old friends or Camino buddie. Having walked many Caminos it has happened repeatedly to me, so it doesn’t surprise me anymore when it happens.
However, my latest Camino which I am walking now is Camino Levante, sometimes called “The Camino of Solitude” which was certainly true for my partner and I as we saw not one other pilgrim in 29 days and 850 kilometers between Valencia and Zamora.
In Zamora we took a rest day before continuing to Santiago via Camino Via de la Plata and Camino Sanabres. Mika and I were talking about which part to skip as we only have 2 weeks before needing to be in Muxia. I have walked this route before so happy to walk just parts of Sanabres once more. We also discussed how nice it would be to meet some fellow pilgrims although not expecting to see many in March on the relatively quiet Camino Sanabres. Having come to no conclusion, I was killing time reading some my FB page. There was a message from Dutch Camino buddy Mariska who was actually on Camino Sanabres just a couple days ahead. Well as many os are aware, the Camino provides. As we bussed ahead to meet Mariska in Santa Marta de Tera, I reflected on our previous meetings.
I had first met Mariska on The VDLP in 2017 in Zamora and ended up walking quite a bit with her and her friend Bo all along the way to Santiago. A year later at the end of a Camino starting in Ireland I bumped into Mariska in Santiago and we walked to Finisterre together. In 2019 I unexpectedly bumped into her and her daughter in Santiago and again in Finisterre.
We got off the bus in Santa Marta at the Church of Santiago and within 5 minutes Mariska arrived after walking 20K today. We continued to Santiago together. How wonderful to be walking again with a fellow pilgrim and friend, after 30 days in solitude. There have been several pilgrim friends I have had two unplanned meetings with but only one 3peat; Mariska. How surprising to meet Mariska for a 4peat.
After hearing of our reunion, our friend Bo purchased a ticket and flew in from The Netherlands and met us in A Gudiña. A 2peat. So nice to be reunited with my dear Dutch friends and where better than once again on Camino Sanabres.