Well, I´ve finally made it! Arrived yesterday, very hot and tired. It has been the most incredible experience, enriched by the many people I met along the way. I walked 790km in 35 days, and still don´t believe it. There are many mixed feelings at the end, relief, tiredness, a sense of achievement and feeling a bit lost.
I had nothing stolen, no bedbugs and no blisters, no real problems (although The Beast continued to trouble me until the end), just the occasional minor irritant. The only thing I lost was a deodorant, due to my own forgetfulness. I feel I´ve been very lucky because many pilgrims had serious foot and leg problems (due to lack of preparation and training?), and even boots stolen. Right up until three days before the end I was fine, but then I developed tendonitis in my left leg, and was really struggling the last few kilometres. That will teach me not to take my lack of problems for granted, I was being too smug!
Well, I have my compostela, I´ve been to the pilgrim mass and embraced St James. Tomorrow I´m off to Finisterre for the day by bus, then overnight to Madrid and flying to London to visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandson. When the dust has settled I´ll start my day-by-day account (with photos) as hopefully I feel it might be useful to a future pilgrim.
I´ve learnt quite a few lessons on the Camino. I´ll have to digest it all before making any comments, but one thing I´ve learnt is that if I hesitate or dither about going into a bar in a tiny village when I´m thirsty, I may well go thirsty for quite a few kilometres more. If you want or need something, go for it!
One thing which has been really strange, almost spooky, is that every time I needed something it turned up. When I was running out of soap I was offered a bar by another pilgrim who had had to buy a pack of three. When my credencial was nearly full I was offered a photocopied page out of the blue. When I really felt I couldn´t go another step in the hot sun there would be a stone under a tree for me to sit on. Those are just a very examples of things that were happening almost on a daily basis. Just like getting virtually the last bottom bunk nearly every day. I only slept in a top bunk three times during the whole Camino.
So, these were just a few comments and feelings, I´ll start posting properly soon, I promise!
The Big Switch On
6 hours ago