Day 34 – Arzua to Arca de Pino — 22km

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Whoop – ‎20km’s to go… Santiago here I come (tomorrow that is).  I am in Arca do Pino in the best ever private Albergue. It has a zen like feeling and calm music has been playing ever since I arrived. I flopped onto a clean bed and fell asleep (what, in 35 days I have never once done that) it was great, body rested, clothes washed, back pack ready for an early departure tomorrow as I want to walk into Santiago no later than 11h00 to get a spot in the cathedral. I am not in the monastery as planned but this Albergue is so special!!  I have loads of quiet places and time to reflect.  Most of the walk today was on natural pathways with good shade offered by the ubiquitous eucalyptus – a gentle climb here and there and crossed over three rivers. Amazeballs!!  The solo walking is GREAT – just loving this space and getting very excited about tomorrow’s walk to Santiago.  Goal almost accomplished, however my body is feeling it more than ever – I am exhausted!!  Spirits high – body low!! I have been thinking about the group of down syndrome kids that I met yesterday.  There ages are between 10 and 15 years old.  I mention this as I was reflecting on what type of charity I want to work with and  meeting this group has confirmed that I would love the opportunity to work with these children.  I coloured in with them last night and they are just the most huggable loving kids I have ever met.  Sadly we could not communicate as they don’t speak English and I don’t speak Spanish but  through smiles and touches you will be surprised at the contact we made.  I felt honored to join them as the  group sat and colored in mandala´s and that is how they reflect on their day.  The 4 adults that were with the group were so patient and tolerable of these kids, it was a huge eye opener for me.  Some of them had blisters and were crying so much, it broke my heart.  I have gained clarity on where I would like to offer my services one weekend a month.  Thought about it most of the way today and I am sure that this is what I want to do. For the last few days I have left the albergues latish in comparison to most pilgrims …usually around 07h30 in the hope of missing the human train and masses on the camino these days.   Have I mentioned that the camino always provides what is needed so each day a different camino angel appears and helps you along the way.  Even though I have an excitement and joyous feeling within my body is truly whacked and out of sync having walked for 33 days!!  Today I saw a gentlemen in his late forties walking the Camino with one leg aided by his crutches.  One leg – come on – I have two and it has been damn tough.  He must be doing a documentary on his walk as he had a TV crew following him.  I was so inspired by what I saw – I lifted my chin, put a smile on my face, with shoulders back I tackled the last few kilometers with inspiration beyond comprehension.  I reflected on the lessons and I have come to embrace that I love adventure and have looked forward to each morning and what it will bring; I am not afraid as I have faith that things will work out; I like being alone on my walks as I can go at my pace and talk when I want to and be alone when I want to; I am stronger than I thought I was and my determination to finish this camino was important to me (as long as my body was able). I have completely recovered from my earlier shin problems and blisters.  I feel I have “arrived” coming to terms with so much from my past and accepting that coming from a dysfunctional home is not a disability but a gift as it has made me who I am today.  Unconditional love is not easy to understand but with awareness we can get there in this life.  We are capable of so much more than we think!!  I will continue to push myself gently in life to be the all that I choose to be and to enjoy every step along my way.   Every day I feel the healing and with the healing the aches and pains are fading. I am grateful for this, for sure.

I am also very grateful that Shereez has given me this gift to travel my own camino these last few weeks as it was important to me. We have much to talk about each day with regards to “letting go” as we both needed to let go of our own worries/stories in this life.  I am stronger and I know Shereez is too as we have both learnt a few interesting dynamics about ourselves.  I have enjoyed my contact via What’s App with Shereez, knowing that she is fine and enjoying her adventure gives me peace of mind that this too has been beneficial for her. I feel sure that more lessons are coming after more thought and some time of rest. I have written a journal everyday and look forward to reviewing when the time allows. Right now I am excited for tomorrows arrival and mass for Peregrinos in the large St James cathedral. I have made some new friends from Montreal and will see them in Santiago as well. In fact I hope to see several of the folks I have passed along the way. I will not head to Finestere (the coast) for a day as this I will save for another journey sometime soon.  I shall relax and enjoy the energy in Saintiago for a few days before I start my journey back to South Africa.
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  • Katherine le Roux

    This has been an amazing journey for me to follow – I feel so blessed to be a part of it! Thank you and thinking of you now at the end X

  • michael n

    I know you changed your blogg site just so that I could not read the last and most important part of your journey. Thats a mean trick to pull. Please copy and paste it to your sparksblog. Thanks Mike N

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