My Longest Walk So Far Comes To An End

I arrived at the square in front of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral this afternoon after setting out 15 days ago in Roncesvalles. I began the final 15 miles this morning in Amenal, brimming with anticipatory energy, jamming up over the hills, imagining the guilt I’d feel not limping in . . . and after a few hours of this lunacy, I was suddenly aware that my feet really, really hurt, my hips and back were aching, and was that a new blister on my right foot? I spent several blissful minutes with my trusty tennis ball and a convenient wall on the side of the path working out some kinks, then covered the blister with a miraculous Compeed. These helped enormously to get me through the remaining miles. And make it to the church I did, limping a respectable amount through the city and up to the square in front of the church. The excellent tour guide was waiting with a bottle of extremely tasty Spanish sparkling wine. I discovered there were tears in my eyes. It’s done.

From the morning I took my first step on the Camino, October 11, 2019, In Roncesvalles, I have walked 169.31 miles and climbed the equivalent of 1,761 flights of stairs. There’s a trip tomorrow to Finisterre with more walking, but those numbers are my official Camino tally.

They say pilgrims arrive changed or more knowledgeable. I’m not a pilgrim, but I now know with certainty it was wise for me not to attempt the entire French Way Camino. I also know that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, some pains go away. I know that I am stronger than when I started – my calves have an impressive curve to them.

I’ll write another post about the last day’s walk. This is just the “I made it” one.

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