We discovered, as every pilgrim does at some point along the way, that our family of four walks at different paces. Most often the two girls lead the way, followed by dad and further back, mom. At times dad does the ping pong ball thing going back and forth between the girls and mom. The girls have each other and seem to talk non-stop, pausing to take a foto or selfie from time to time. Oddly enough, nobody was bothered by the varying paces nor of walking alone from time to time. Mom, the most social of the family, connected with more pilgrims than the rest of us. She met a group of Catholic university missionaries the first day, some gentlemen from Ireland the next day, and happily introduced us all whenever our paths would meet. So goes life on El Camino. There is a sense of global community unique to this very experience.
Added to this was the wonderful hospitality shown by many of the staff we met at our hotels or lunch stops. On more than one occasion we were received with a warmth that let us know we were special by virtue of being a pilgrim. We came to notice a difference between those who had walked El Camino for themselves, from those who happened to live along the route and who found work where they might.