And on the 7th day, we won’t rest till we reached Santiago de Compostela to complete our 100km trek on The Way of St James. And that’s tomorrow if anyone’s counting…
With four blisters the size of Jupiter and a right knee that threaten to snap on every step, my camino hasn’t been a walk in the park to say the very least. But then I’m reminded by the Word that “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps…” – Proverbs 16:9.
In the past two days, despite the pain and agony of trekking with the blisters rubbing against my open-faced Teva sandals – my feet are now way too swollen to fit into my Merrell hiking boots or my Nike Airmax – the long stretches of moments where I was simply walking on my own on the camino has been liberating. Instead of focusing groundwards on every step I made, I started to admire and give thanks for God’s handiworks in the beautiful Spanish northern countryside; enjoy great moments of peace and quiet, broken only by birds chirping; and taking the opportunity of capturing great postcardsque shots along the camino like the one above.
And then again, you are never alone for long on the Camino. Cos there are thousands of people on it at the same time and not necessarily on a religious mission but simply for the love of walking. There are genuine smiles and greetings on every turn, great hospitality and good food/wine/beer at every village that you pass through, and needless to say, the great number of interesting people you meet on The Way. In addition to the people I mentioned in my previous blog, would like to give a shoutout to the following:
- Joanna fr London, the first Englishwoman I met on the camino – the rest are practically Irish! There’s a Lucky 13 bunch in my tour group alone! – and who is on a self guided trek albeit with my same tour agency;
- Graham and Penny, the Red Cross couple from London, who sweetly walked at my snail pace this afternoon and helped me get over a painful stint by chatting about everything about Singapore;
- and last but not least, to that Caucasian chap who upon hearing my accent when I was crying blue murder over the intense pain of my severely traumatised little toe on Day 4 just before Melide, exclaimed as he passed me by, “Good to see you! I’m from Singapore too!”
So glad I’m not alone on the Camino de Santiago….