Unlike most other pilgrims I’ve met on this Camino who are walking into Santiago today, I set my trip up under a ‘split plan’ where I did 15 km today and 15 km tomorrow, preferring to arrive into Santiago for my rendezvous with St. James fresh…and as fate would have it…dry. Those poor souls that are doing 30 km today are doing it in cool & wet weather. That’s a true test of spirit after being tired and sore from the previous 12 days of walking 15-18 miles/day.
Most of my new friends blasted off around 8 am due to the weather, distance, and desire to get their Compostela and attend the 7:30 pm Pilgrim’s Mass at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Me? I had no incentive to jump out into the rain, knowing I only had 10-12 miles to walk today, so I left around 9 am. I walked alone today, and as I’ve written before, I actually prefer that. That doesn’t mean I didn’t encounter some cute and unusual things…like a family that has been walking the Camino with the Dad pushing a stroller with a baby, while the Mom has had a smaller child on her person with a Snuggly. Pretty unusual. And later I ran into a family of sheep feeding at a grass bin. One kept jumping up on the fence, and I swear, calling out to me. I admit to answering back. Maybe I should stop walking alone!
About 2 miles from my inn I had the good fortune of running into my new Australian and Swiss friends, who were just popping out of a cafe for a refreshment and rest. They looked tired and were walking very slowly. Still upbeat, they confirmed they were headed for Santiago today. I caught them again briefly at my inn just as I arrived, and they looked with envy at the dynamite old rural casa and well known restaurant. You didn’t need to be a mind reader to know they would have loved to shed those packs and wet clothes and come have a glass of wine & tapas by the fireplace. I felt somewhat guilty about having a reservation here…but only for about 5 minutes! It’s the perfect place to rest and reflect, both of which I intend to engage in.
So as I conclude today’s post my eyelids are very heavy and there’s a leather couch near a fireplace calling my name. It’s saying, ‘JT…come lay down and close your eyes for a well deserved siesta. I will rejuvenate you so you can find all the meaning you came for on your walk into Santiago tomorrow’.
Thank you for walking along with me. I needed you. Know that I prayed for you. Tomorrow will be special for me. I wish my bride Catherine was with me so we could walk the Cathedral steps hand in hand and attend the pilgrims Mass together. Honey, know I have you tucked neatly away in my heart. There you will forever stay my love. Promise.