October 5, 2018
When we started walking, it was early September. It was summer and the leaves on the trees were bright green. Now it’s fall and the leaves are turning colors and dropping. The sun rose by 7:30; now it’s closer to 8:30. A full moon came (when we were in San Martin) and now has waned. The crops in the fields have been harvested. The chestnuts have fallen from the trees and are all over the ground. And, of course, no one had heard of Christine Blasey Ford.
Tomorrow is the end of our journey and I’m ready. My feet are tired, my back is tired, I’m tired. But the main reason I’m ready to be done is that each day since Sarria (the significant 100 kilometer distance from Santiago) the atmosphere on the trail changes more and more. The people who joined in Sarria have come to the Camino with a different frame of mind than those who started in France. The newcomers are younger and travel in loud groups. They carry light daypacks and send their backpacks ahead via transport vans. They breeze past us on the trail and rarely greet us until we wish them, “Buen Camino.” Their clothes are fresh and clean, even fashionable. Some of the women wear lipstick. They don’t need haircuts. John, the Brit, calls them Mingos. They go on the Camino, but they’re not of it. Even the bicyclists have changed. Once friendly and polite, they now come up behind us very fast, with no verbal warning. I suppose everyone is excited to reach Santiago tomorrow.
Our journey today was supposed to be shorter than normal, but somehow it still ended up being almost 15 miles. We walked a little extra because we followed the Camino signs, as always, but our destination wasn’t on the Camino. We missed a left-hand turn and had to backtrack. Once in town, we stopped at an albergue, but ended up getting a private room in a Pension instead for just a few extra euros. What a treat!
One more day. I can’t believe we are actually going to complete this challenge. That was not clear to me when we started. I’m not sure what I expected, but the reality of the Camino was far different than anything I could have imagined. I think I’ll look back on this experience and marvel that I actually did this.
The forecast is for rain tomorrow. We’ve had perfect weather for this whole trip. We’ll get up early, as usual, and head to Santiago with only 20 kilometers (12 miles) to walk. I’m hoping to arrive by noon to attend mass in the cathedral. Don’t laugh. I want to go to mass because it’s dedicated everyday to the pilgrims and seems like a good way to celebrate this achievement. Enrique doesn’t want to go. He’s Catholic and has been to enough masses to last him a lifetime.