Karen and Mark Trek4Change!


$30,301 raised so far


Villafranca to Laguna de Castilla 26.9 km
Adjusted actual 32.4 km
(Yep, there was a massive mountain!!!)

This scripture was sent to us from a friend…
“If God stands by me and protects me on this journey on which I’m setting out, keeps me in food and clothing, and brings me back in one piece to my father’s house, this God will be my God.” Genesis 28:20‭-‬22 MSG

We are still in one piece but oh my goodness….each day seems a little more challenging than the last in different ways.

Today we began the first 20km wandering past a winding river and through beautiful little hamlets every 3-5km. We encountered a man doing a donkey camino, horseback caminos…and more. We were thinking “What an amazing day. This is a breeze.” Let me warn you…dont ever say that!

At the 20km mark we approached a mountain with no way around it.. .just up and over. So for 6km it was a 30° gradient of shale and rocks that belong only in a waterfall (in my opinion). I want to say we were like mountain goats just scooting up that trail…we may have looked a little different in the eyes of others as we puffed and panted, sweating our way to the top. We found out later that this climb was one of tbe steepest of the whole Camino!

We broke through and came out to incredible scenery. We had a storm coming so we kept up our speed and then encountered a herd of cows coming straight at us. (Check out the video below…Mark’s own version of running with the bulls!) We have less than 200 km left to go and are having mixed feelings about that. This Camino life has a simple and fulfilling routine of its own and it be hard to come home.

We are staying in a 12 bed Albergue at the top of this mountain…will be a fun night. I have to say – we won’t miss those dormitory sleeping arrangements!

Highlights: Walking by the river all morning, plenty of green toilet stops, spectacular views (despite incredible pain and suffering), ability to climb (yes we did it), a hot shower on arrival and a bed for the night….it’s the small things but they are so important.

Reflections: We have been so encouraged by those who have donated to the Syrian refugees in the past days. Thank you. It makes us realise we are not alone on this trek.
Walking by the river all morning we were reminded of the never ending love of God that flows to each one of us.
We love being up in this alpine village. High places give you a great perspetive. You see far, breathe deeply and have a different outlook.

We have spent the morning praying for so many of you… knowing you are also going through some pretty significant challenges as well. May you know His peace and His strength as we have known today.

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