It has been almost a week since we completed the Camino De Santiago. I still can't believe we did it, but my tired body assures me we did. The last few days of the walk were done mostly in the rain, with monsoon-like conditions accompanying us the final 2 hours on one of our last days. ( and yes, "the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain ran through my head non-stop.) I was never so wet, cold and miserable in my life! But we arrived at our very lovely hotel greeted by the owner who relieved us of our wet belongings and cheerfully mopped up the Lake Erie-sized puddle we left on his nice wooden floor and under his oriental rug. It ended up being one of the nicest stays we had with wonderful hosts and the best food on the Camino. We liked it so much that we stayed an extra day, electing not to walk the next day in the torrential rain and strong winds. Instead we took a taxi the following day to our starting point. We felt a bit guilty, like we were cheating, but we also didn't want to risk getting hurt.
Throughout the walk I often compared this feat in my mind to running a marathon and wondered which is harder/crazier and I concluded that it really depends on the person. Walking 500 miles in a month is a little nuts, and it was harder than I anticipated, but I can't even fathom running 26 miles. I have mad respect for anyone who willingly does that!
In the final days, I also thought a lot about what I gained from this journey. There are definitely easier ways to mend a broken heart, but I feel like doing this walk helped with the healing. I learned a lot about myself and also about other people. I learned what is important to me in all of my relationships, and I learned (shoutout to Glennon Doyle) that I can, indeed, do hard things. I hope going forward I can repair what is broken in my life and let go of what is irreparable.
During our few days in Santiago we ran into our fellow pilgrims that we met along the way, and said goodbye to those who meant the most to us, particularly the young Israeli couple that we saw almost daily on the trip. We exchanged congratulations and talked about what is next for all of us.
I am currently in Paris with my sister and her husband, enjoying my last day in my 50s as tomorrow I will celebrate my 60th birthday. Not a bad place to be for such a milestone, and a nice transition from the Camino to my real life. I definitely lost weight during my walk, but I'm pretty sure I gained it all back in Paris. C'est la vie!
We had back to the states on Wednesday and I am more than ready to be home, even though "home" is a static situation for me. You know what they say, "home is where the heart is" so I will make wherever I am home.
Thanks to all who have followed me on this journey and offered encouragement to a weary traveler. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it!