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Published: October 31st 2016
Legal breakfast today and had my room number checked off; obviously looked more legit yesterday. I went shopping and bought some jeans and a shirt.
Ken and I crossed paths early and had a coffee and a chat. Lauren and George the German came along, and while Lauren admired my purchases, George wanted to find a sports store. He thinks when he sweats his bright green pants look like he urinated in them; sweat, yeah , right George. Ken was going to mass so I visited a few of the tourist shops and saw the same stuff in every one.
It's 6pm and I'm back from the park above the old town. As I looked across at the Cathedral and surrounding buildings, I realised this is fast coming to an end. It's so peaceful, so removed from the real world, that I wonder if it's this I will miss, or it's simply the end of a holiday.
I've had the Camino described to me as an endurance test by a seasoned walker, and I think that's about right. The physical and mental tests the Way puts you through are hard to describe. From starting each day in the dark, preparing by torchlight while not disturbing others around you in the room, to pushing through problems that pop up unexpectedly, there is always something happening.
I had pretty severe blister problems for 16 days of the walk, and it's only been in the last few days I realised I'm glad I did. For starters, the last 20 days has been the best I could hope for. With no physical issues, I was able to enjoy the ups and downs, the rain, wind and heat, and was always keen to go. I drew satisfaction from many things I had previously taken for granted, and I hope through my pain, I have greater empathy for others problems. Helping people and being helped is a great gift and until this Camino I thought I was OK with that, but really I fell short of the mark. I just met an American girl on the way back here who gave me a bottle of water on the path to Muxia, as I misjudged the availability and was out of it. She was looking for a cookware shop to buy a paella pan and was lost. I passed one this morning so I took her there. That water saved my bacon on that hot day !
Actually, I met an Irish guy, Martin, in the lift before and he was leaving tomorrow . I told him it was All Saints Day and the Botefumerio will be used in the cathedral. He immediately changed his plans and I took him over to show him how to get in, ( it's a little tricky, some doors are in only, others out), and where to sit to have a good view. By chance I left by the cathedral shop and there were all the things I wanted to buy but couldn't find so Martin was a handy guy.
You also need need to learn to cope with habits and cultural differences as you move through Spain. Now I've never had much to do with Koreans before the Camino but this year they were the majority nationality along the Way. I loved them. They're up early, very polite, very engaging and they always cook all their meals; none of this Camino food for them. I made friends with quite a few; some just to say hi too, but others I would spend time with. We also had many Canadians, Irish folk, Americans , Spanish, of course, and a sprinkling of others including the odd Australian. Oh, and a Scot , sorry Ken!
If I met people I found to be hard work, I just treat them like a blister; something to be dealt with. It's pretty easy to separate yourselves here by just leaving early, stay at different places, or fall behind a little. There's been no real issues in that regard though.
Well it's 6.40pm so I might sign off, stick my 2 or 3 pictures from the day on, and go and find dinner. I haven't seen John all day and have no way of contacting him so I'm going solo tonight. An early one will be good. Two days to go.
No pics today. I just waited 10 minutes and not even 1 loaded; mañana.
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