The family farming unit has disappeared in the US but it still remains strong in Spain. For now. It's changing rapidly and within a generation, this country could also see the conglomeration of all things regarding food and staples.
I bring this up because Thursday was a microcosm of this trend. Soon after starting our walk from Ponferrada, we came across Theresa of South Africa once more. Though we split up quickly, we had just entered regions where smaller family farms and crops were raised.
As the day went on and we passed cute pueblos and nicer large villages, these small farms began to yield to large institutional farms. The workers in the field no longer owned the land they tilled. Instead, our modern serfdom perfected in places like the USA and Russia seem to be influencing rural Spain.
Yet the towns remain charming. Villafranca Del Bierzo looks like a typical alpine fantasy world, complete with a Castillo perfectly framed by mountains, churches that were ostensibly founded by Saint Francis, and great food eaten while sitting outside to soak in the vista and people.
We met a Hungarian pilgrim who can't carry a backpack and must rest her back for seven days at our place. We felt her pain and wondered what she will do during that time.
I on the other hand was thrilled that I still have no blisters, even while carrying a full backpack. And even better, I could take photos standing on tiptoe or in a ditch without my normal pain.
So here's to healthy walks for us and many prayers of love and healing for those who passed on or could not come. And may economic change shared in the abundance of the earth.
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