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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Zafra: Via de la Plata

From Almendralejo we journeyed down the Via de la Plata, accompanied by an energetic man named Luis for the first 5 kilometers. We then altered course for Fuente del Maestre when we received a message from Camille, our previous host, that a friend of hers would host us there. The detour added some 15 kilometers to our walk (for a total of 30-35 kilometers) and we had to hustle to get to Fuente before dark. The extra effort was well worth it, however, as our Belgian host, Joachim (or 'Joe') cooked a gourmet meal for us and entertained us with tales of marathons and cycling trips. Both he and his visiting brother were thoughtful and generous and we set off the next day rested and refreshed.
The walk from Fuente to Zafra was short, scenic, and unhurried compared to the previous day's walks. When we arrived in Zafra we found the house we are currently staying in, where we are guests to four more teachers. They've been busy with classes but perfect hosts in spite of this.
Tomorrow I hope to continue down the Via de la Plata towards Seville. The journey will take about 6 days, and I'll be staying in a tent unless I find an inexpensive Albergue along the way. Olivia, meanwhile, will take a week's holiday, going by bus to Madrid, then meeting me again in Seville, where we hope to continue southward.

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