Camino de Santiago - Day22

This morning I made my own alter from treasures I have picked up along the camino. Notice the small fossil that is in the shape of the Camino shell! Too much fun at Festa de Maio yesterday and my ankle is once again not fit for walking.

So I have hopped a bus and arrived in Triacastela. I am settled into our hostel, doing our laundry and catching up on some correspondence while Terrie walks the Camino between Villafranca and Triacastela. I plan to take a small walk around the town this afternoon to explore the history.

It is a lovely day. I open the large windows and let the outside pour into our little room.

OK - lunch started out strong with one of the best ensaladas to date .... but the main course - which I thought was going to be something like a paella arrives and once again I reaffirm my resolution to learn to speak Spanish before I return to Spain!! The waiter looked so pleased as he set the plate down and gave a hearty "Bueno!" that I ate the whole darn thing not wanting to hurt his feelings. You can see that things took a great turn for the better when the helado (ice cream) and cafe' con leche arrived. There is no lack of dulces (sweets), pasteles (pastries), and pan (bread) in Spain - and it is never too early for a cerveza (beer.) All of this is not a problem when you are walking 15 miles a day - but my situation has changed...

Each town has it's ancient church and beautiful stone walls - even this small village of Triacastela. The stones change with the region. We are now in Galicia. In the 9th century, the rise of the cult of the Apostle James in Santiago de Compostela gave Galicia symbolic importance among Christians, an importance it continues to hold. As the Middle Ages went on, Santiago became a major pilgrim destination and the Way of Saint James (Camiño de Santiago) a major pilgrim road. Today there are over 250,000 peregrinos who make the walk each year. This sounds crowded - doesn't it... but my own experience is that for much of my walk I have been alone, then other peregrinos would appear .... and then I would be alone again ... The one peregrino you are sure to meet on the Camino is yourself - and in this way we are never alone - maybe surprised - but never alone.

This evening I feel overwhelmed ... my leg hurts, I almost feel like I am back to square one with the pain... I am feeling the sadness of my walk being over... I can't get the internet to last long enough to figure out the damn bus schedule... tears roll down my cheeks and it feels good to simply cry and not hold back...OK Theresa - take a breath - all of this is temporary.

I am reminded of the words of Sarah Marquis who is a Swiss adventurer and explorer. From 2010 to 2013, she walked 20,000 kilometres alone from Siberia to the Gobi Desert, into China, Laos, Thailand, and then across Australia.

"You can plan everything - but when you take your first step - you have to let it go..." Sarah Marquis