Stage 9: Alcanadre – Calahorra (20.6 km)

I woke up this morning feeling very sore.  It was actually difficult to stand up after getting out of bed. I have set myself to walk the entire Ignatian Camino but I think I could do myself some serious damage if I walk today, so I have decided to take a rest for the day in the hotel.  I currently have an ice pack on my right shin in an attempt to bring down the swelling.

My swollen shin

My swollen shin

After breakfast we gathered outside the hotel where the bus was waiting to transfer the pilgrims back to Alcanadre. Peter Walden again briefed us on the walk helped by Larry Naismith’s advice on the weather and the lack of small towns on the way where pilgrims could find water.  Pilgrims took plenty of water in their daypacks.

Ignatian exercise.  I talked about the Ignatian exercise for the day.  Today we begin the “Second Week” of the Spiritual Exercises. Our point of entry is through a meditation that invites us to follow Christ the King.

The grace we ask for: Despite my limitations, and aware of the love of the Father for me, I ask for the grace to feel personally called to journey with Jesus as his companion and co-laborer.

The grace we were praying for yesterday was a deep awareness of God’s merciful love.  When a person experiences being a loved sinner, it often leads him or her to desire to respond to that love. Today we begin to meditate on Jesus’ invitation to walk beside him in his work. In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius places God’s call to work with Christ just after the meditations that touch on our own human sinfulness. The juxtaposition is important: God calls us to work closely with him in the world as ‘loved sinners’. The gospel for today is Luke 5: 27-32 in which Jesus calls Levi, a Tax Collector and a hated public sinner, to “Follow me”. Even though we may feel unworthy of being called to be companions of Jesus, he calls us nonetheless.

Vin Dillon also suggested that pilgrims spend the the first two hours of silence praying for families.

Fr Joe Taylor and I are both feeling a little “worse for wear” today so we stayed behind. As we waved off the others on the bus back to Alcanadre I felt a twinge of sadness. My goal of walking the entire Ignatian Camino will not be met.

Downtown Cahahorra

Downtown Cahahorra

Modern Calahorra

Modern Calahorra

I took some time in the morning to wander, gently, around Calahorra.  It was a city of great importance in Roman times when it was called “Calagurris”.  There are still Roman ruins to be found in the city. Calahorra has a long pilgrim tradition, as can be seen in the baptismal font of the 16th century Cathedral of Santa María (covered with shells, gourds, and the image of St. James).

I purchased a pair of new boots and visited a Farmacia for some 600 mg Ibuprofen (we can only get 200 mg tablets in Australia) and some gel to rub on.

Peter Walden took some photos if the walk today which are displayed below.

The Hotel Cuidad in Calahorra

The Hotel Cuidad of Calahorra

At the Alcanadre Station ready to start

At the Alcanadre Station ready to start


The walk was fairly flat today

The walk was fairly flat today

Enjoying lunch under a tree

Enjoying lunch under a tree





5 thoughts on “Stage 9: Alcanadre – Calahorra (20.6 km)

  1. Hola, Michael.
    No te sientas contrariado por no poder andar la etapa de hoy. Esta es una prueba y una penitencia que ALGUIEN te ha puesto para superarla. Ese ALGUIEN es quien te ha dado la oportunidad de comenzar este Camino. Él te ayudará a superarlo. En el Camino, como en la vida, hay que sufrir pero no padecer.
    Seguro que mañana te sentirás con fuerzas y ánimo para seguir, y dirás: ¡VAMOS! acompañado y animado por tus amigos.
    Un saludo para todos y que Dios y San Ignacio os acompañen.
    Fermín Lopetegui.

    • This is a translation of Fermin’s message:
      Hello, Michael.
      Do not feel upset about not being able to walk the stage today. This is a test and a penance that SOMEONE gave ​​you to overcome. That SOMEONE has also given you the opportunity to start this road. He will help you overcome it. On the road, as in life, you have to suffer. Surely tomorrow you’ll feel strength and courage to go on, and say ¡VAMOS! (Go!) accompanied and encouraged by your friends.
      Greetings to all and God and Saint Ignatius be with you.
      Fermin Lopetegui

      Dear Fermin,
      Thank you for your message, Yes I have been feeling a bit of a failure, but you are right. God is the one who enables us to even start the Camino and he will give me the strength to continue.
      We look forward to seeing you at Montserrat.

  2. Winnie and I are together doing work on the dreaded essay and looking at your blog. What a terrible shin and we are fearful of infection as it looks so bad. Like the idea of 600mg of ibuprofen and the new boots which we trust have wings attached. We love the reflections. We were stunned to learn that Bishop Prowse is to leave us for Goulburn in November. Peace and prayers for your speedy recovery. Winnie and Judith

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