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Camino de Santiago Day Thirty-seven and Thirty-eight: We made it!

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A Salceda to Santiago de Compostela

We decided to walk 22km to the outskirts of Santiago and walk the last few kilometers in the morning.
Neither of us could sleep, so we got up, packed our mochilas for the last time and walked to the old city at 5am. It was dark and rather than being joined by other pilgrims, we passed a few late night partiers and a woman walking her dog. It's not the entrance into Santiago we pictured, but we were all alone in the Praza do Obradoiro in front of the Cathedral.
It was June 17—thirty-eight days and 780 kilometers since we started May 11, in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.



We were two of the first ten pilgrims in line for our compostelas, which meant we got tickets for a free lunch at the historic parador. Peter from Australia showed up and introduced us to Michael and Linda from Washington DC, who also got the lucky tickets.




Peter also knew Ted and Darlene from Winnipeg, and gave them contact, since my phone died and we couldn't contact them. But we …

Camino de Santiago Day Thirty-four to Thirty-six

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Gonzar to Melide to A Salceda
Today we completed two 30km days in a row and we are within 25km of Santiago. We've walked over 700km from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, for more than a month. 
And after two days of rain, the sun came out and the sky was clear and blue. 

We stopped in Melide for the night where we found an amazing vegetarian-vegan restaurant Casa Alongo run by Concha. She was happy to speak English and share her passion for fresh, local food. After a Camino of meat and typical pilgrim meals, it was a great find. She served us grilled vegetables with avocado aioli and tostada de pulpo--Galician bread toast with local cheese and octopus.

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One bar along the road has bottled their own La Peregrina lager and invites pilgrims to write something on the bottle and decorate the patio.




We walked our second to last day with friends we met a week ago--John, Norbert and Agnes. We talked about our families and what it's like to make friends on the Camino. 
Everyone is a blank sla…

Camino de Santiago Day Thirty-two and Thirty-three

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Samos to Barbadelo to Gonzar

It continued to rain through the night and into the morning. We left Samos and walked to Sarria along beautiful paths following the Río Sarria.







We took my iPhone to the phone repair shop in Sarria. We waited three hours (through the siesta lunch break) to find out my phone is dead. Muerto. We transferred my SIM card to Amy's phone and downloaded my apps and email, and then walked to Barbadelo. 
The Camino and pilgrimage is about traveling light and letting go, trusting God and his timing. But I like it better when I can decide what to let go of, to plan my losses and think through the consequences.
I dropped my phone in Burgos and didn't anticipate walking through all the rain this past week. It was wet through and through. Muerto. What pictures are on the cloud, and what else have I lost? I won't know till we are back in Barcelona in two weeks.
While we were waiting we got the newsfeed that Anthony Bourdain committed suicide last Friday. 61 ye…

Camino de Santiago Day Twenty-nine to Thirty-one

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Villafranca Del Bierzo to Las Herrerias to Fonfria to Samos


We left Villafranca Del Bierzo and began our ascent up the valley. We are following the Rio Valcarnes river along the old highway and crossing the main, new highway built on ginormous structures. It's actually a little bit of a challenge to walk hours when it would take minutes in a car or bus.


Our morning prayer desires to "behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple." Sometimes that is a church, and we have been welcomed into beautiful ancient places of worship. But this stretch is the beauty of creation--green lush hills, animals and birds, streams and flowers exploding in wonder and life. 
We spent the night in Las Herrerias and enjoyed this view of the cows grazing in the meadow. We watched the storm clouds move into the valley. This hostel is owned by David. His family converted his grandfather's barn into rooms and a restaurant. He's 31 and partners with his sister. He works non-stop …