Day 36: Flying! – Palas de Rei to Arzua

What a day!

When you mix long, determined hours of walking with with funny, thoughtful company, the miles just fly by – 18.6 of them, to be precise. For the second day in a row, I blew by my longest distance (30km) on the Camino and felt amazing.

In the air was a palpable buzz of excitement. Everyone around us was talking about “going for it” tomorrow, getting to Santiago – or close to it – in time for Sunday Mass. Continue reading “Day 36: Flying! – Palas de Rei to Arzua”

Day 35: Gearing up with The Guys – Portomarin to Palas de Rei

And now began the part of my Camino where I just flat out walked.

Oh, I still enjoyed the journey, but The Guys were serious walkers and I felt determined to keep up without being a squeaky wheel. I’m proud to say that I did 25km/15.5 mi that day – my longest distance to that point – and I didn’t whinge or whine once.

Continue reading “Day 35: Gearing up with The Guys – Portomarin to Palas de Rei”

Anticip-ay-ay-tion – waiting for news about a writing class

I’m feeling nervous and excited this week in equal turns.

Yes, I promise the Camino plot will continue later this week–this upcoming post is a particularly sticky one to write for personal reasons, so I’m working with it gently.

In the meantime, I’m requesting your prayers, good vibes, and positive juju (whichever camp you fall into) for the best possible outcome in a new quest: I’ve applied for a week-long Master Class at Hedgebrook Writers Retreat to develop my abilities as a non-fiction writer.

Continue reading “Anticip-ay-ay-tion – waiting for news about a writing class”

Day 34: The beginning of the last 100km – Sarria to Portomarin

A lot of pilgrims share that in their last days before arriving in Santiago, they look around themselves and realize that the people they’re with will probably be the ones to share this momentous life accomplishment with them.

When I looked around me that morning as I left Sarria, five-days’ walk from Santiago, I was alone. I felt physically weak and emotionally weary, especially because of the morning’s punishing hills, but what I didn’t know was how many blessings the Universe had planned for me today, packed in, up to the gills.

Continue reading “Day 34: The beginning of the last 100km – Sarria to Portomarin”

Day 33: A magical day with the Queen of Sheba – Triacastela to Sarria

Sometimes, but not always, I paused at the end of the day to write on my map in the guidebook to describe what I saw. Some would say this is a sacrilege, but I found it helpful to jog my memory later. Today my scribbles included: “gorgeous views, cows ♥”, “beautiful” and “magical forest”.

Continue reading “Day 33: A magical day with the Queen of Sheba – Triacastela to Sarria”

Day 32: Love, focus, loathing, and the day’s fourth chapter – O’Cebreiro to Triacastela

After a month on the Camino, I discovered that a day of walking, for me, is divided into three chapters. During the first third of the day, I feel enchanted by everything – the scenery, the flowers and birdsong, the exact shade of the blue sky. The second part of the walk, I’m focused. I turn inward and think. I look at my maps carefully to consider lunch options and distance. The final third of the walk, I hate my life. I hate my feet and I especially hate the Camino and wonder why on earth I’m doing it.

These three chapters repeated themselves so consistently that I began to find their predictability hilarious. What a crazy place the mind is! So little changes around me, yet my inner experiences vary widely.

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Day 31: A day of transformation and joy – Ruitelàn to O’Cebreiro

Suddenly, after five days of illness, moping, and a serious case of the grouchies, life took an abrupt turn for the better.

The morning walk to O’Cebreiro was brightened with the company of my sweet friend, Louise from London, and our meaningful conversations about life, career paths, body, and spirit. It was lightened by sun peeking out from behind the clouds and fresh snowfall. It was literally elevated, in part, by being the highest point I walked to on the entire Camino.

Continue reading “Day 31: A day of transformation and joy – Ruitelàn to O’Cebreiro”