The first 100 miles are a fact thus I woke up so happy knowing that my boots were dry again, but luck was scarse that day. It took about one hour to enjoy the dryness of the shoes. It all starts with a little dripple of rain onto your rainjacket, then they start to drop and moist your arms, legs, the top of your socks, the ankle, one drop slides down your achilles and then you can count exactly ten steps before your boots squeeck. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-quack quack. You know that squeecky sound wet shoes make. Todays stage had a nice appeal, eventough I enjoyed it as a walk true a waterpark. The memory of the last sunny days kept the thoughts warm. We found refuge in a bar of a sympathic lady who allowed a bunch of soaken wet pilgrims inside for a coffee or hot coco. It is a part of the journey were spirits are held high due to attitude. Nothing worked in our favour but smiles went all around wherever you see. The glass was half full 😉
Closing in on the end of the rainy stage we approached a bar were we settled in for a significant amount of time. A first for this trip. Perfect excuse, since it was not even the weather to leave a dog outside. Once the friendly gents who waited in the bar for the people behind 😉 we headed out towards our place to overnight. Heey-how Heey-how ,here we go! Already tipsy from the few beers I could not help it but imagine us as a few dwarfs coming home fromx work. Singing and just beeing happy the hard day is over. Still squeeck squeeck of course.
Today I woke up prepared, purchased my breakfast a day before with extra artisanal cookies for to share with whoever interested. Giving out smiles as I was handing over a giant, free cookie. Nice to start a day like that, right?
So the goal for today was to arrive in a city called Lugo. They were having their city parties and are famous for cooking squid “Pulpo” Hmmmmm 🙂 Onwards I say! Long talks with people made you loose the sense of time and reduced long walks into single subjects. The cool thing about these conversations is that they were not filled with small talk. Yes, no doubt, we expressed appreciation if something was beautifull. Wow! Look at this view, this sunrise, that blue sky, but mainly had suprisingly deep conversations with people you just had met.
Felt like a time traveler as I walked the distance to a city untill the moment I reached their old city walls. Such a beautifully preserved middle age construction. History is a wonderfull inspiration for the imaginary mind. It was a perfect night to feast, celebrate the progress, enjoy the new company and absorb yet another new place. The fame for the pulpo was not stolen, we soaked up all that sauce up with bread after munching down all the pieces of delicious pulpo. Do not miss out on the wine, Albariño, a local wine that taste devine if you allow me to say it with a ryhme it was so fine 😉
My head reminded myself in the morning of the party the night before. Some changes in the group, some stayed behind, some took a different route and some drifted away. Everyday is different then the next. Especially for the camino, where so many things happen in a short amount of time. I continued the journey leaving arrows and signs behind, just in case the drifters rejoined the same path. In the end they re-appeared coming from a different road. I guess all the roads lead to Rome and everybody has their own way on achieving their destination and should pursue their own way.
It’s alright to do things the way you want. There is no map to life, no blueprints to survival, you can create your world day by day if you have a clear vision and an unwilligness to give up
– John O’Callaghan –
With a way to small breakfast I started the trip without bars or stores on the way to a monestary. I never slept before in a monestary. Interesting! At this point we were on an alternative route, thanks again to our Italian companion. He had prepared his whole trip, not like me. I was just winging it and that turned out good. Later we would end up on some trails of other caminos, skipping some non interesting parts. Grazzie Fabio! He is an interesting person that loves to make pictures of abandoned places. Check his pictures out!!
He has a special eye for things and has some cool pictures to look at and wonder. This picture above is from the monestary where we slept.
Code red! We got a virus among us. Some of our fellow travelers got sick. Some look white, some look green, lots of them had to vommit during the night. Not good for walking towards the 200 miles today, some of them even came from further.
The final countdown. Today is the day the destination would be reached. Mixed feelings. Happy to accomplish a goal, a little bit sad the journey comes to its end.
Once back from the camino everybody asked me how it was. Naturally this is normal after returning from a trip, but people who knew that I wandered alone or knew the camino expected more of an answer. Some people had a lot of pain during the journey, some cried when they arrived at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, some do not accept the end of the journey until they arrived at Fisterra ( If you continue the same way until the ocean side you arrive at the beach where the ancient pilgrims embarked on to their boats).
It was none of the above for me. I had my left achilles inflated for a few days, no pain for me, nothing that would have made me doubt of finishing. I did not cry when I arrived at the cathedral, I got more the sensation of: Check! Mission accomplished, that’s done. What’s next? Going to Fisterra would have been probably nice, but not the goal and unable to fit it in the planning. So no biggie.
On the other hand the experience was unique, it did not change me but made me discover some things of me that are not highlighted or were not clear to me in my day to day life at home. I learned that I like to travel alone and be completely free to do adventures as they occur during the day. I learned that somebody is only alone if they choose to be so, you can always find human contact if you are open to different people. Everybody is a stranger, you are a stranger, but after a few words you can get to know a lot about somebody. After spending a few days with not much luxury, you can easily see the real caracter of somebody. Not everyday in live is easy, but always has the posibility to be fun and beautiful.
In many ways this “camino” is like life, it truly represent the essence. I started alone as I was born alone, but quickly gained company and created a family. This family is so diverse but makes the evenings warm and fills it with laughter, gives support for the low moments. Not everybody has to take the same route to arrive somewhere, the journey is not equally easy for different people, not everyday is easy, you cannot choose good weather or expect the next surprise. But! Everybody can on their own rythme, their own terms. Everybody needs to pay a price for an accomplishment and never give up, because the compensation is only at the end. Never give up, always keep going and visualizing the end of your goal. Some have told me that they thought about quitting, some have envied me for making it look easy. Do not mind to much how it is for others, everybody has their own battles. Just keep on going untill the end, it is there where everybody shares their story over a beer, it is after the work that we celebrate. It is after doing something, no matter if hard or easy, that we get our well earned satisfaction.