Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lavacolla - Day 38

Another grey and cold day but no rain so all was good. Barb and I lingered over breakfast, as did a few of the others staying at the Albergue/Hotel. Some were walking the full distance today and would be in Santiago by dinner time. A few of us have planned to stay a short distance from the city, so that we can walk into Santiago in the morning and catch the Pilgrim's mass at the Cathedral at noon.

While the walk was a short one - only 18 km, there were a lot up ups and downs as there seems to be endless hills on the Frances route.

The walk was lovely through a good deal of old pine and eucalyptus forest. There were a few villages to stop for a bite of lunch.

Somewhere along the road we came across a young dog. We said our hellos and walked on but it soon became apparent that he was lost and looking for a friend. He followed us for 5 or 6 km and we were very concerned as the dog was whimpering and worse yet, it didn't seem to have any car sense. The dog just followed along with us Peregrinos, staying close to whomever looked friendly. Barb and I tried to distance ourselves from the dog as we did not want to be witness what we were sure would be a bad end when he ran out in front of a car, but several times he caught up with us. At last, when we were nearly at our hotel, we were able to get behind him when he started following some folks in front of us. We took care to walk slowly so as not to catch up with him. I hope he made it to Santiago safely.

We passed the Santiago Airport today. We are so close, it seems like we are already there. Victory is in the air.

We settled into our Casa Rural, Casa Amancio, just on the other side of Lavacolla and quietly went through the ritual of shower and clothes washing then settled down for a siesta. The place is nice enough, sort of like little alpine chalets arranged around a courtyard. It was 40€ for a double , which included a separate room with a couch and a little kitchenette. There is a dining room which we will check out for dinner.

Tomorrow is our last day of walking and both of us are wondering about how we feel having finished such an amazing journey. Certainly we need time to reflect on the accomplishment.

Me, I am glad to be finished. Today I got a new blister on my heel, which reminds me that there has been a lot of wear and tear on my feet and that both my brain and my feet are tired of the walking. I have lost a bit of weight, not lots but some. I will have to wait until I am near scales to see how much. I know my legs are a lot trimmer and I have lost inches from my waist. That said, if I continue to consume as many calories as I have become used to eating, I will gain back the wait plus more.

Tonight I think, will be a night of reflection. We have walked about 850 km. Has that changed us in any way? What have we actually accomplished?

We are waiting to here how far Ian has gotten, but unless he got much further than planned, I expect that he will arrive in Santiago in the afternoon as he will have 20 km to walk. Barb and I will be heading into Santiago first thing in the morning. We only have an 8 km walk, so we should be there before 10 a.m.

As I write this, just before dinner, the sky has cleared and the sky is pure blue. It is going to be a great day tomorrow. Quite fitting, don't you think?

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