Day 34 – Barbadelo to Portomarín

20.6 km ~ 29,113 steps

Song of the Day: Only Human – George Ezra

Today was a big day, an exciting day, but also a surprisingly sad day. We crossed the 100km marker, meaning we’ve walked over 700km so far on our trek across Spain. I wasn’t expecting to be so sad honestly after all the tough times we’ve faced but I find myself thinking “what? Already??” When I look back, it’s hard to believe it’s been 34 days. Sometimes it feels like weeks pass in the span of 3 days. Sometimes it feels like I haven’t been here for long at all. So today, I start to slow down. Lately we’ve been doing 30+km per day; I’m not sure why. Because we can, I guess. Because we’ve felt good. We’ve enjoyed the weather and trees and shade and rivers and we’re strong now so we just keep going. But now, after passing that marker, I’m making a conscious effort to slow down.
I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it this whole journey, thanks to Maverick mostly. He reminds me to stop and smell the roses and take a break and look around at this beautiful corner of the world we’ve found ourselves in. So I decided today to really embrace everything that comes our way these last kilometers. Coincidentally, there was an option for two trails right before Portomarín and I took the historic one, which was truly incredible. The narrow path between rock walls and over rock that has worn by so many feet that it’s almost made steps had me breathless as for the first time, the weight of just how many pilgrims have walked these same exact steps truly fell over me. For hundreds of years, for hundreds of reasons, people have walked this same path. It’s funny how the Camino seems to know exactly what you need, and gives you that. Thank you Camino, for giving me that moment.
It’s also funny because today, as throngs of new pilgrims from Sarria rushed by me in the late afternoon, I started to miss all my pilgrim friends. Maverick and I haven’t exactly had the typical Camino experience and as such didn’t really develop a “fam-ino” like so many do, but we did connect with so many different people. They’re all ahead of us now, as we fell behind when we took the side trip and also from me getting sick. So I was feeling a little sad, wondering if they were all together getting ready to make it to Santiago for St. James Day and as we came up to the bridge into Portomarín, a group of pilgrims was taking a rest there. One of them happened to be none other than one of my favorites we’ve met on the Camino, Gio, the young man from Italy who I had previously thought was Spanish. I was so happy to see him, thinking I never would again, I almost jumped up and down in joy and ran to give him a hug.
It’s these little Camino coincidences that truly show it’s not a coincidence at all, but God saying He’s watching