So I wonder how it is supposed to feel when you finish?
We took off at 9am, planning to take two hours to cover 10kms.
The first bit was pleasant farmland but then predictably we hit the urban fringe and trucked along hard concrete paths into the old city and then into the cathedral square. Arrived at 11.16am.
Wow. It was over. Done. Finished. Completed. Weird.
Within 1.5 hrs we had completed the Camino, found our AirBnB, registered for and received our Compostela (certificate of a successfully completed pilgrimage in Latin!) and picked up our parcel that we forwarded to Santiago from Pamplona.
Seeing 799kms completed on our Compostela prompted a moment of reflection. And as the clerk wrote out my Compostela he asked if it was hard… through tears I said, yes.
I surprised myself with my tears… I had spent a lot of time coping with my circumstances but not really considering how I did it or what it meant for me. It was simple. It had been hard for about 180kms. It wasn’t the meseta, or the mountains, the weather or the distance. It was coping with illness and expecting to recover that was my personal challenge, my Camino. The lesson in it for me … ‘Call it earlier. Don’t always soldier on, ET’. Sometimes the right thing to do is stop, rest, recover and then resume.
So I’m glad I have finished. I’m proud of our effort, and I can now cross it off the bucket list.
Acknowledgement: I want to thank Tony. What a buddy, best friend, partner, tour guide, nurse, smart arse and patient man. He was an awesome walking companion and is my lifetime partner. I am blessed. We are a pair, noted as ‘stinking cute’ by one of our Camino buddies.
To all our Camino buddies, we’ll see you again on our travels. Thanks for the great times and special memories. It has been a privilege.