April 15 2014

With the full moon and anniversary of the start of my PCT adventure in 2013, I was tempted to camp tonight. Then suddenly the heavens opened, the thunder and lightning begun, and all the little nooks I could have hidden in were muddy and wet. I opted instead to head to the Albergue in Baamonde which wasn’t a bad choice with its wooden floors and loft style sleeping area. Today I walked just over 40km, and reminisced about the PCT for 39 of them. I even put Missy Higgins on for the last hour coming into town for a true sense of nostalgia.

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Today was an emotionally charged day which I expected, and fortunately the Camino was on actual trail or dirt roads that were far removed from society for the majority of the day; making for spectacular scenery and the chance for solitude. I had a lot of thinking time between 9am when I hit the trail and 9pm when I reached the Albergue. I was on a high at the beginning, a low after lunch, and then while I was resting on the wall of a bridge over a beautiful creek I received a comment which basically put into words exactly what I was going through and made me feel like someone else did actually understand what I’d experienced and how I must be feeling now. Somehow the words released all of the emotions I’d been carrying with me all day, and like any good crying session, I felt immediately relieved and my mind lighter afterwards.

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Video:

Today was the first day I saw a road sign to Santiago. I’ve been vaguely keeping track of how many kilometres left, but when I saw that name appear I suddenly felt the excitement growing in my stomach. I keep forgetting how long and how far this journey actually is, and hadn’t fully appreciated that I’ve waked over 700km this last month until I realised how close I must be to my destination. I am planning to walk the additional 3 days to Finisterre, but I’m avoiding thinking beyond Santiago until I actually step foot in the cathedral.

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It started pouring after my break on the bridge, but the rain and thunder were a welcome distraction from my former thoughts of the day, and in a symbolic fashion, cleared the slate for this new adventure to continue without distraction from the old.

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10 thoughts on “April 15 2014”

  1. I have never done a walk through complete wilderness, so I don’t really know how you feel, but I kind of understand the grieving part. After my four months on the Camino (from Germany to Finisterre) I had real problems finding my way back into “normal” life. What I missed most was exactly what your are missing, too: the freedom and the independence. The only thing I had to think about is where to get some water, where to buy some food and where to sleep in the night. I had a small tent and a sleeping bag with me and so was really not dependent on finding a hostel, gite d’etape or albergue. And still I had a direction in which to walk! So I did not have to think about where I want to head, not take huge decisions about where I want the way/life to take me, but just follow the way (more or less at least).
    I began grieving already when I entered Spain, because I followed the main Camino from Jaca and suddenly there were so many people, the Camino was on or next to roads so often and I missed the Camino in France so so much, with fewer people, more time in nature, less cities or villages etc. I came to enjoy the Spanish Camino, too, since there are so many wonderful people on it, and especially in the Meseta and Galicia there were so many beautiful parts in nature, too. What helped most, though, was a two-day-detour to the small village of Penalba in the mountains – nature, only a handful of other people on the way and a small, quiet village to sleep in.
    All in all, it was such a great experience, but even half a year later, most of the time I could not stand to look at the pictures I had taken – it was so painful since I missed it so much.That changed, of course, and now I can look at the pictures and be happy for all the memories I have, but, to be honest, a small part of me is still sad remembering the Camino and misses it, although I am very very happy with the life I am leading right now. Perhaps it will always stay like that, I don’t know, but I am ok with it and it helps me examinate my life every now and then.
    Thanks for sharing your emotions and thoughts with us, I really appreciate that. I am happy that you had a day with mostly trail and dirt roads and a lot of solitude, and I am excited to see how the next part of the journey will look like. Take care, buen camino!

    1. Muchos gracias Fine, love your story. It always helps to know you’re not alone in your struggles. I’m so happy that you had such an experience like that. It hurts because it was so magical and we should be happy and grateful for that. Thank you!

  2. In life as on the Camino, we carry a full mochila. How much we want to leave on the trail and how much we want to carry with us is the constant battle between the mind and the heart. From my own experience on the Camino, I unpacked a lot, once I stilled my mind and opened my heart.

    Enjoy the rest of your journey with a mochila unburdened. Ultreya

    Ingrid

  3. Rozanne…..I think I understand….for me, it’s the surfing journey that I think about so much….it was an adventure of “flying”….but, I didn’t have much time to think because I was always searching the horizon to see the hump in the ocean that would soon become a wave to ride….There is another journey that I can’t quit thinking of….that is the time I had with my love….she was so much a part of me and my life journey…and I think of her so much during the day..AND all the wonder-filled adventures we had together….she is gone, but the thoughts about her are still in my heart and can sometimes I cry….It’s a different scenario…but still a matter of our hearts….in that we who have tender hearts ARE going to live in our thoughts of all the beauty and hard and wonderful times and sometimes wonder…”What happened! I want to go back there and do it again! It was so life changing”. I am with you, sweetie, all the way!!! Though I am not there with you actually, my head sees Spain and wonder if I can find you on the trail….so now you have become part of my heart and head….journey on in joy!! building another memory….

    1. Thank you for opening your heart and being here every step of the way. I’m learning new things about you little by little which I love! Gracias Barbie

  4. Funny…your one year PCT anniversary is the same as my four year Camino anniversary. 🙂 Hey, if you need more time to process after the Camino, be sure to stop at The Little Fox House in Galicia…it’s near Muxia. My friend Tracy opens her house to pilgrims post-Camino to give them time to process their experience (or in your case, your PCT too!). It’s donativo and one of my most memorable experiences from my last Camino.

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