I absolutely loved Santiago! It has a great energy and although touristy it doesn’t have that feel. I was so happy to see so many familiar faces from the Camino and enjoyed a great dinner with my Korean friends!
After this I walked the city with other friends, enjoyed some wine, and then went to bed! I slept in very late the next day but it felt so good and my body needed rest! Saturday my sister was arriving and I remember thinking, “how can I walk anymore, I’m so tired!” Haha now I can see why so many pilgrims take the bus to Finisterre but we were determined to walk to the end of the earth together.
My sister came into Madrid late and sadly missed her flight to Santiago so she didn’t arrive until really late by train. Gianluca, Caio and I walked the city, talked with friends, went to the park to do Jiu jitsu, yoga and Muy Thai, ate gelato and then went to a mini-Brazilian BBQ.
The BBQ was amazing and I absolutely adored our hosts Felipe and Daniel. Daniel is from Spain and Felipe Brazil. They have a cute and very smart cat Misterio also known as weirdo. Their apartment was incredible and had a spectacular view of the city as well as in a great location!
Jess arrived late in the evening and Caio joined me to meet her at the station! I was so happy they both could meet! We walked around for a bit trying to find a restaurant because everything was so full and we continued to run into many other pilgrims!
The next day Sunday we went to mass! We had hoped to see the botafumeiro but it did not make an appearance for the noon mass but nevertheless it was beautiful.
It was during the mass where I finally felt very emotional and it sunk in that I had walked across Spain! We had to sit on the floor because there were so many people there. Luckily next to us was a sweet family and one little girl of the family had Down syndrome. She was adorable and made me think of my friend Sam, a teenager now with Down syndrome that I worked with years ago when he was in elementary school. I get to see Sam here and there and he always reminds me to love unconditionally, stay positive and don’t. E afraid to let loose once in awhile! He has such a bright and bold personality and couldn’t help but think the lessons I learned from him are still very much applicable to my life now.
Afterwards Caio, Jess and I walked around! I was so happy that they could meet and they got along just as well as we did on the Camino! He named her “Twin” and grilled her on American music which she did much better at knowing the lyrics than I did.
We got gelato and then walked with Caio to the bus station so he could head to Finisterre. I was sad to see my dear friend go because I truly think we learned a lot from each other, had a lot of good laughs, great conversations and I think he played a big part in my journey to heal but I am certain we will stay friends.
The truth is I am very fortunate to have amazing friends. Over the last year in particular my friends have been instrumental supports in my life. I had a tough year with my biggest support system my grandparents moving to Texas, my husband got a new job and moved bases out of Colorado, I was still dealing with my grief of the miscarriage and then of course I had my breakdown. I had many days and times during this last year of my life that I had no idea what to do and couldn’t see any light because I was so deep into the darkness. My friends were the light I needed many times and their encouragement and love gave me the strength to continue on. My friend Kelly told me a couple years ago “your time is precious” and more or less that I needed to be conscious about who I surround myself with and I have tried to follow that advice these last three years. Well lucky for me I did and I truly am lucky to know some of the best human beings!
On the Camino I met some people that I had to remind myself that my time was indeed precious and I didn’t need to take their shit or negativity. But in general I met the most wonderful people and when you meet other people who are doing the hard work of a journey like the Camino that is not only physically challenging but equally mentally and spiritually you bond in a very special way. There is a saying on the Camino that you cross paths with the people you are suppose to meet and I believe in that fully. I will do a post later about some of the incredible people I met on the Camino!
Jess and I then went back to the Cathedral to do a tour and to try to catch another mass. The museum was awesome and then we waited around to see if we could get into the Cathedral to take more pictures and were told after the mass.
We waited for awhile to enter into the Cathedral to then be told by a man that we could not enter because they were closing after the mass. So we decided to finish the tour of the museum and then as we were leaving a woman ran up to us asking if we were trying to get into the Cathedral. We told her yes and she said if we promised to be quiet and she could get us in! We were shocked beyond belief but here was another example of the Camino providing for us.
Although we caught a small portion of this mass it was incredible! They had a bishop there ordaining two priests and you betcha we got to see the botafumeiro!
We ran into three of my favorite Korean friends as well and then went to stand in line to hug St. James. When I got up to the statue I lost it again, cried my eyes out, gave it a kiss and embraced this statue with one of the biggest and longest hugs of my life. I poured every last ounce of my burdens into this statue and in return allowed myself to receive the love, joy, peace, courage, strength and most importantly healing that I walked for…