This time tomorrow – barring a catastrophe – I should be strutting my big ass (well not as big as it was) into Santiago de Compostela having walked some 500 miles from St Jean Pied de Port, France.
Yep, I’m thissssss close to the end of my Spanish Schlep. And I gotta tell you, I can’t wait for it to be over.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a blast, but seriously I’m DONE!
I’m tired. I’m sore. I stink. My hair sucks. I miss makeup. I’m sick of sore feet. I’m sick of washing my panties every night. And I’m sick of being terrified that I’ll have to answer nature’s call when I’m out in the middle of nature.
They say walking the Camino is life changing, well I dunno about that. I have a pretty good life and I don’t really want it to change, but I do know a couple more things now than when I first started, and I have some great memories to last a lifetime.
Like walking over the Pyrenees in the rain – that feeling of accomplishment and euphoria when I reached my hotel room after seven hours of hard hiking will be hard to top.
Being in the right place at the right time – Pamplona may be famous for its bull run, but the night I was there, the city through a Giant’s Festival. They say it’s a festival for the kids, and I truly felt like a kid joining in on the fun.
Being in the right place at the right time, part deux! Stumbling into a sleepy hill top town that was all closed up so they could have their own running of the bulls. All the roads and paths were closed so I was forced to sit down, chill, and cheer for those idiots who tried to outrun angry beasts with horns.
Meeting fabulous people from all walks of life; rich, poor, hopeful, hopeless, lost, in love, or out of love.
One of the most fascinating people I met was Tomas, a man from Uruguay, who travels on an Italian passport, who has worked for almost a decade in China, and who was schleping a bottle of red for miles and miles in his backpack. Now keep in mind most people will shed bars of soap because they don’t want to haul the extra weight. But for Tomas, that red was worth its weight in gold. That’s a man who knows his priorities!
My priority right now as I’m just hours from my grand finale – Who do I share the honors with – my hiking boots or my sandals?
My hiking boots have been with me since this whole nonsense began; training in the Rockies, they got me here, got me over the Pyrenees and gave me blisters. I know they’re very sorry about that and really it was the insoles, not the boots, so there’s that…
My sandals took over when my feet were so swollen they couldn’t fit into my boots – heck there were times when I had to walk without the straps even attached. But I dunno, can you really strut into Santiago wearing Velcro?
Another Camino challenge they never tell you about in the guidebooks.