The pain and joy post Camino
I had forgotten many of the lessons learned 3 years ago regarding the finishing of a Camino. The usual steps of finding a place to sleep, washing clothing, and finding food are replaced with getting your Compostela (the certificate in Latin that you have completed the trip) and the magic of running into so many people you met, shared hardships with, and thought you would not see again. Some proof pictures:
I was concerned that we were never going to get to the Pilgrim office to register as we kept running into ecstatic people who wanted to hug and congratulate us at every turn, Ramon and the Spanish friends, Las Madrilenas, Andrea, the Frankfurter, Guy from Malaga, Maria from Peru. It may seem strange but on the Camino, you can be very close to someone and never know their name – so we make up a name based upon a characteristic or whatever is easy. I shudder to think what I was called among other groups.
Once we had registered we were looking for beverages and ran into Isabel who ran the Albergue we stayed in in Padron. She was having a drink at a cafe and recognized us. She was the most helpful person we had met on the trail and as e departed just after 7 yesterday morning we thanked her profusely thinking we would never see her again. She bought we 3 guys a Camino keepsake. An amazing intensity of relationships.
This morning came the aches and pains that one was denying for weeks. It is as though the body recognized the final steps and said ENOUGH. I am off to the Pilgrim mass now. More later.