Whelp, we made it to the end! 825 km and 34 days later, Cale and I arrived to Santiago with a spring in our step!
… and then, reunited with Camino buddies, we decided to walk another 100km through Muxia and to Finisterre:
Credit where credit is due… Clive D’Souza’s Facebook post really inspired the rest of this blog post. Clive is our Camino friend that we met just in the last few days of walking- he carried a momentous 18 kilos in his backpack compared to Cale and my 8 and 10 kilos of weight!
Things I should really stop doing post-Camino:
- NAPS IN THE STREET: It’s only on the Camino del Norte, when you haven’t seen a soul in a couple hours, and there aren’t even any other pilgrims in sight, where it’s possible to take a break… and sometimes fall asleep… in the middle of the road.
- WALKING WITH A STICK: Cale and I carried our walking sticks the entire way to Finisterre, even after the hilly sections of the Camino which is what we really needed them for. It’s amazing how attached you can become to a stick. (Mine’s name was Alvin). It took a couple days of being out and about and thinking “oh no, I forgot my stick!” before we got used to not having them around as attachments of ourselves.
- EATING ENTIRE JUMBO BARS OF CHOCOLATE IN ONE SITTING: You guys. They have the Milka brand of chocolate in Spain. And it’s cheap, and it’s the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted. One day after a lunch break with our friends we walked for another hour or so… and it wasn’t until then that I realized that I was so ravenous that I had eaten an entire gigantor chocolate bar, without even offering a single piece to anyone else. Really good manners, Sarah. I’ll be coming home with cavities, guaranteed.
- NOT BACKTRACKING TO SHOPS: Generally speaking, you don’t walk backwards on the Camino. Any kilometer out of your way is pure pain. The other day I walked about 20 feet past a pharmacy before realizing I needed something inside. I thought to myself “that’s ok, I’ll just get something at the next one.” On the Camino, ‘the next one’ is in a town or two, usually at least a couple hours, 8km away. Note to self: there isn’t a ‘next one’ anymore.
- LOOKING FOR AN OLD SPANIARD WHEN I’M LOST: This one is tough. And old Spaniard won’t magically appear out of nowhere to point me in the right direction if I’m lost in real life. This happened without fail on the trail. Not another soul in sight, and we would be puzzling over which way to go, and an old Spanish lady would appear out of nowhere (because we really were in the middle of nowhere) and point us to the correct path. Once from the upstairs window of a farmhouse. Once in the middle of the woods. Once on our very first day when there were no posted signs to the Albergue. Losing my way off the Camino will be much more difficult.
There’s so much more to say about the Camino! It was such an amazing experience. I’ll probably post again before letting it go and moving on, though we’ve already physically been to Portugal for a week and are now in Morocco. I’ll try to post again soon!