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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Day 32: Love, focus, loathing, and the day’s fourth chapter – O’Cebreiro to Triacastela”
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”
You might have been led to believe that my Camino was a blissful walk with miracles at every turn. Maybe I’ve been telling it that way, but it wasn’t.
Though I kept waiting for a good turn of events, I had now been sickly and exhausted for five consecutive days. The antibiotics seemed to have begun working, but I still felt weary. For the first time since I began this pilgrimage, I thought to myself, “I’m ready to be done with this.”
Continue reading “Day 30: A seriously bad mood – Villafranca del Bierzo to Ruitelàn”
During the night, the man in the room next to me talked on his phone until after 1am. If I spoke better Spanish, I would have understood every word. I tossed and turned, sweating under the synthetic comforter.
In the morning, I was not feeling tremendously better, and the coughing and congestion persisted. My ears seemed to be less painful, even if still stuffy. I was dreading the day’s forecast of rain, feeling concerned about the effects of more moisture on my health.
Continue reading “Day 29: Soul soup and reunions – Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo”