This morning I stopped for a coffee in a beautiful little cafe about 5km outside of San Juan, where I slept last night. It was clean and cozy (two rarities along the Camino) and sold fruit and fresh bread and cheese instead of the usual pre-packaged stale croissants and potato chips.
The man behind the counter spoke to me in French, but when I asked if he was from France, he answered "Why are we all obligated to be from somewhere? Can't we just be where we are?"
Gregoire told me yesterday that anyone who does the Camino for more than two months becomes a mystic, so the barista's answer made a lot more sense when he told me that he has walked the Camino every year for the last 35 years, once travelling for 168 days. He complained about the tourist pilgrims who get up early in the morning to rush to the next town. "Saint James has been waiting for you for 2000 years, he won't mind a few extra days," he said. "Just walk as far as your legs will take you, and at the end of the day, soak your feet, have a few glasses of red wine, and eat some cheese and olives. You walk forever like that."
And when he puts it that way, don't you kind of want to walk forever like that?