A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Monday, November 28, 2011

Southbound 'Via de la Plata' Heretics Arrive in Seville

We headed south from Zafra on the Via de la Plata in a thick fog, but we strayed from the path several times over the next week for another reason; the Way to Santiago is only marked for the pilgrims going north. We learned to walk backwards at every fork or intersection, looking for the yellow arrows (hand painted by a conscientious pilgrim, no doubt, for the Way would be  poorly marked even for northbound pilgrims otherwise.) But we still managed to add an extra 10 or 15 kilometers to our trek to Seville by way of going astray.
The Via de la Plata was an adventure even without getting lost though; we forded thigh high streams barefoot, and camped near countryside castle ruins. We took a fair amount of rain, and ate bread and cheese for dinner. For our thanksgiving dinner, we had cold vegetables and legumes from a jar. We also had our moments of luxury, though, staying in an albergue now and then, eating microwaved lasagna and pizza.
We were corrected several times for going south; by pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, and even a low flying ultralight. "You're supposed to be going the other way!" they all said. But, heretics that we were, we doggedly continued southward to San Juan de Aznalfarache, near Seville, where we have discovered, not the relics of an ancient saint, but the flesh and blood of living saints who have taken in two weary strangers.

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