Wow! I can’t believe we are almost done! It’s crazy for me to think about where I was two weeks ago, let alone 30 days ago! Tomorrow I will be in Santiago de Compostela!!
The last few days have been a whirlwind. We have our routine down, get up, get ready, walk, break, check in to an albergue, shower, eat, relax, repeat. We have been trying to cook more, which is saving us money and makes us feel better. Unfortunately, one bad habit I have picked up in the last 10 days or so is that I have a coke everyday. I find that the sugar gives me a good boost of energy to get me through walking and is a nice, cook refreshment to enjoy after walking. I don’t normally drink a lot of soda, but I figured it was okay because we were definitely going to be burning off the calories later. I’m afraid I’ve gotten so used to it that I am going to be craving it after we are done walking so I am definitely going to need to kick this habit!
Also in the last few days- probably 3 or 4- a large number of new pilgrims have joined us in walking. Technically, to get your certificate for walking the Camino, you only need to walk the last 100K. There are many people who do only that amount. I know it is not my place to judge how much another person walks and what they are capable of, but it doesn’t stop me from being frustrated with the increased amount of traffic on what was a formally a peaceful walk. Where I was once lucky to see another pilgrim in an hour, I can no longer go even 5 minutes without seeing another pilgrim. Also, there are a number of school groups that are walking with us now, so every so often we will see a group of 20ish high school girls and/or boys, and they are just as loud as you think they would be. Overall, the increased number of pilgrims doesn’t bother me too much, it’s just another adjustment I have had to make, but they do bother many other pilgrims because they haven’t learned the “ways of the Camino” yet- being respectful when others are sleeping and napping, some wear full make-up, etc. I find I have had to remind myself more often that everyone does the Camino for their own reasons and everyone is on their own journey.
Back to the walking… the sights have been beautiful lately. We are in the middle of the other set of mountains now. Several days have begun with lots of clouds, mist, or fog, but by the afternoon the sun is always shining. It really hasn’t rained on us since the beginning of the week so I am grateful for that. We walk through many small towns, with populations anywhere from 200 to 60,000. We walk by corn and cows everyday, and the smell comes right with it! I am going to miss the Iowa State Fair this year, but I know where I can go to get part of the experience! 😆 But with the beautiful sights, my allergies are in full gear. I’m not sure where or when it started, but they have come into full swing the last few days and it makes it slightly difficult to enjoy walking outside. It’s okay though, because all of this is worth it.
Oh! And we found a souvenir shop that has my t-shirt- one that has a saying of “no pain, no glory” with a picture of bandaged feet! I was so excited to find another one, and of course I got it!