The end? … or just the beginning?

Just 5 days and 120kms from our final destination, after 5 weeks of walking, our lovely long walk is over. Greg spent a night in hospital in Lugo, and is now ‘home’ and improving, but not enough for us to complete our walk on this trip. It’s so disappointing for us both, but rather than focus on it, I’m going to write about the good stuff, and there’s been plenty of that.

When we started our walk, I hadn’t done anywhere near enough training – it was cold and wet at home and I had too much else to do, and lots more excuses for why I couldn’t walk for quite a few kms at a time with a heavy rucksack. In the end, I don’t think it really mattered. After the first week or so, I got used to the distances and to carrying an extra 12 kg, and once my feet settled down, walking 25kms became just what I did every day. And I was always happy to spend the day walking, I never thought ‘oh, I don’t want to do this today’, although I was glad of our 3 rest days when we took them in large cities.

I’ve gotta say, that as someone who spends most of her life sitting in front of a computer screen, who hates sport and isn’t really all that interested in physical activity, walking 680kms while carrying a 12 kg pack is something I’m pretty darn proud of. I’m fitter than I have ever been, and thinner than I’ve been in quite a few decades. And I’ve got this tan that looks great … until you look at my white ankles and feet.

We have seen some beautiful parts of Spain, and met some great people. The friends of the Camino who helped make our journey a success, and the pilgrims we met along the way were all interesting and all had a tale to tell, and a story to share. It was always good to bump into people we had met earlier on our Camino, and to catch up on their travels since we saw them last.

As we drove along the motorway to the hospital a couple of days ago, I realised how lucky we had been to spend those 5 weeks walking – we really got to see what that part Spain was like, compared with zooming along in a motor vehicle. Every country looks the same from a motorway.

The food. Ah, the food. I could, and probably will, write a whole post or even a whole blog on Spanish food. Some of it was incredibly good, some of it was utterly forgettable, but eating out every night was a novelty and a lovely change from the usual ‘what’s for dinner?’ at home. I keep finding Spanish cookbooks (or actually, I think they find me) that I want to buy for myself and to stock on my website.

So for now, we’ll keep on posting on this blog. The current plan is to stay here in Lugo for a couple more days, then go to Santiago by bus (and I can tell you now, it won’t be the same as if we had walked all the way), fly to Frankfurt for the Book Fair as we had planned, then fly home from Munich on October 12th as planned. By then, Greg will hopefully have recovered enough that the flights won’t worry him too much, and we’ve really just got to get home to our real lives, our businesses, our families, friends and to Daisy the cat!

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One Response to The end? … or just the beginning?

  1. barbara says:

    Oh Judy I came straight over here when I read your comment on my LiveSTRONG post. Firstly, I hope Greg is okay, secondly I hope you are okay. Bryan wrote a funny email to friends when I went into hospital, describing the hospital system. I guess it was his way of coping and putting our friends and family back home at ease.

    However you now have an excuse to visit Spain again to complete the walk. To get so close and be denied the final 120K is a tough one. The camino will always be there. Greg’s health is more important. One of our camino friends from Germany had to give up the walk about the same distance out. She has since gone back and completed it.

    You have described the camino experience perfectly in this post. The friends you made on the camino will become friends for life. After our camino, a couple from South America visited us in NZ. We had met him on the camino when he walked it with his brother. His wife found it a little hard to comprehend the bond between us. I said to her ‘Once you have been pilgrims together on the camino you take care of each other for ever’.

    We postponed out train trip across the nullarbor as I wasn’t feeling well enough after the last treatment and moving house. So we will pass through Adelaide in February now and look forward to seeing you both then.

    Beun camino.