20km LAST DAY. As a lot of you probably saw from the Facebook live video, We made it to Santiago!!!! I’m overjoyed that this part of the journey is complete. Although I read something yesterday that said “this is not the end, only the beginning”. I get shivers and a little emotional when I think about that. I’m going to blast us back to 6:30am when I woke up. It was a rough sleep: felt sick, room was hot and I had to pee 14 times (ok not that many). Then I got up and with my head lamp I noticed the tell tale sign of bed bugs… small brown spots on the sheets. Not sure if it’s their poop or my blood. Then I looked a bit more and there was a bug on my bed. “Fuck” I said out loud and told Luc to get out of bed cuz there was bed bugs. The woman beside heard me and she got up too. Up and out of the albergue. Well we said we wanted one more authentic pilgrim experience. We got it. No bites started to present on me until we got to the hotel that night and now it’s become the biggest smorgasbord I’ve had the whole Camino (we think over 100 bites). My whole right side is ravaged and some of them have even turned into blisters. Never had that. I’ve been using tea tree oil which really helps and I have some antihistamine pills left over. But it’s not enough. Luc, of course, is unscathed. Probably because they were like “hey there’s this sweet red head down here no need to go up top”. I’m surprised too since I slept so poorly, how and when did they attack? Anyway, one last gift from the Camino. I walked with my backpack again starting in the dark. Night hiking is really kinda different. It takes on a different kind of appeal being close to the stars and the moon. There were a lot of people today. I might have made some dominating hand gestures to a woman who looked like she was going to try to get in front of me for the bathroom. I spent a lot of time looking inward, I had a lot of pain in my feet today. Searching for how I was feeling knowing that I was literally moving closer and closer to the finale. There was peace. Later on in the night Luc asked me some questions like “who was I the most grateful for?” And “what was the most memorable experience?”
And every time I had this feeling of contentment and joy wash over me when I think back to all the amazing experiences I’ve had. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Although I remember back when I was sitting in my hospital room all alone wondering “will I make it to Santiago? Or will I go back to Switzerland or even Canada?” And so the tears washed over me when I finally got infront of the magnificent cathedral that I made it. I did it. I fucking did it. So while it is about the journey, the destination is also important to me especially since I really had no idea if I was going to make it. We stood in line to get our official document for about 45mins. Then headed back to the cathedral. And then over to our hotel room. Showered and headed off to wash and dry our stuff in a laundromat while we drank beer (see photo). Returned to the room and then headed out to check out the shops. I wanted to see the inside of the cathedral so at 10 past 8pm we walked inside and mass was on and what I thought I had missed, came true. They swing the botafugio And not 5 mins after being in the crowded cathedral did they swing it. I can hardly believe my luck. The universe provided exactly what I needed. How special a moment to see this. I’ll provide the video separately. We had a wonderful dinner with a beautiful bottle of red Rioja wine special for completing our Camino. I’ve been thinking about all of you as well who have been following and supporting and cheering me on. I’m so grateful to have so many people in my life who have been there for me along the way. Even if you have been reading but not commenting I can feel your energy and that has helped to move me through this epic journey. When you have the love and support of your friends and family, you really can do anything. So I thank you 🙏. It almost doesn’t seem enough to say thank you. My mom and aunty for doing this 3 times, being my inspirations and for guiding me in all the different directions. It meant so much to have you both close by every single day.
And I want to say a very special thank you to my husband and best friend. He made it possible for me to go on this journey by helping violette get adjusted to school, Switzerland, new friends, everything. And when I needed him and was crying and moaning from the pain, he listened on the phone and loved and cared for me when I felt so alone. I love you to the moon and back my love. Thank you for coming and being a part of my Camino. ♥️♥️
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Day 35 – Las Herrerias to Fonfria
Today was O Cebreiro. We left in the dark. I was a bit cold and eerie in the dark hiking up the mountain. The moon was bright and the stars were clear. We got to the first town and I had the most delicious crepe with hummus and tomatoes. Wow! I couldn’t get over it. Then it was light out and up up up! It was beautiful walking through the countryside and up the mountain. Everything is green with sweeping vistas. So incredible. We walked into O Cebreiro where there was a lot of tourists. It was cute but I was happy we weren’t staying here for the night. Then up some more (I swear I thought the up was done when I got to O Cebreiro but nooooooooo……) the day was wonderful. Up and around these beautiful vistas. I so enjoyed being with Luc and listening to his stories. I also thoroughly enjoyed making new memories with him. I know how much he appreciates going to new places and experiencing new things. I’m honored I get to do this with him. And now we’re in Galicia. The food, views and trail are much better in Galicia. Then there was this HELL hill. Omg. Right before some place called A Puerto (which was not a door or a port). Then into Fonfria to an albergue where we got a bottom double bunk (I’ve only seen these in Australia). We had an amazing dinner with a lot of people and the food and the wine kept coming. Lots of connection and sharing. I so enjoy listening to Luc speak all the languages he knows, even if I don’t understand them. I knew he would love this place – everything about it. I had a terrible sleep. But they say “all you need to do is walk the next day so who needs sleep?” 😳 the best part about tomorrow is we’ve rented a private room so I can sleep without 30 other strangers.
Day 36 – Fonfria to San Mamed
We started out around 6:40am. Still dark. We could hear a dog barking for at least a km away. We turned off the headlamp and enjoyed the moon light to guide our steps. Eventually the sun began to rise and it was a beautiful sun rise full of warm colors. Galicia is incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t stop oooohing and ahhhhing at alll the beauty. More up and a lot of down. The down is just murder on my metatarsals. Then we came upon this little oasis in a small village. Fruit, juice, coffee, cookies, nuts, while people played guitar. Beautiful quotes written everywhere and a calming energy. The guy that ran it came from Australia 🇦🇺 he had been there for 4 years. We pressed on hoping the wild boar, wolves and bears didn’t jump us. Ok it’s a bit of a joke but true that they live in the forest. I will tread more aware when I’m hiking through the forests in Spain in the dark. We rented a private room with bath in this great albergue. We did laundry, chatted with Vivi and relaxed before dinner. We planned the next two days and where we’re staying. We’ve got 5 days to go. I can’t believe it’s less than a week until we’re finished. Tonight we went around the table, introduced ourselves and said what we were grateful for. I was surprised when a young girl who looked familiar, said she was grateful for me. She said 3 weeks ago me and Sherri and Leena invited her to the top of the mountain where the statues are and will mills for sunrise. She said since then, she’s tried to be near the top of mountains for sunrise as she enjoyed it so much with us and she’s passed this onto other people she’s met. It was so moving to hear the positive impact that this small gesture has had on her and others. Every day I’m met by people who share themselves with me and I gain something from them. Tonight I was touched by a beautiful soul and so happy our paths crossed again here and now after 3 weeks and the last time seeing her up on a mountain.
Day 37 – San Mamed to Puertomarin
Wow what a day. Furthest distance I’ve walked in one day. We started in the dark and had our first coffee in Sarria. And then some friends I haven’t seen since the meseta walked by. I love it when that happens. Wow. The amount of newbies on the trail. I’ve got some feelings about that. Luc and I spent a lot of time talking about all the new people who joined today and who send their packs forward. Weirdly, even though we were looking for it, I missed the 100km marker (sigh and foot stomp) but got the 99km marker. I have less than 100km to go!! We walked and walked and walked. I’ve been having some pain in my metatarsal on the right foot. Walking on pavement starts to really irritate it. After a little cry going down a massive hill, and then over a bridge and up so many steps and a few more hills, we made it to the albergue where we had another private room booked. And thank goodness because I started to feel some pain in my bladder area. I started thinking maybe I had a UTI. I discussed with Luc if I should go to a doctor. Eventually, Luc asked the albergue owner if there was a doctor we could visit. She said in the next town was a clinic. So we took a taxi to the clinic at about 5pm. I’m so thankful Luc is here. He was able to speak and understand what the doctors and nurses were saying. They think that the kidney stone might still be in but moved down. I’m still not drinking enough water 💦. So Luc is on me now to drink more water and evidently I need to drink bottled water from here on out in Spain. I got a shot in my ass for the pain and was sent back home in the same taxi 🚕. Luc was a sweetie and bought a pizza for us to eat in our room. I’ve been laying in my bed the rest of the night with some pain and discomfort. I’m ready to be done this walk. 4 More days until Santiago. 6 more days until we’re back in Switzerland 🇨🇭
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