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!

We finally found a place and had an excellent Paella and wine!

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.

This one reminded me of my Pug Olive!

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…


O Perouzo – – – Santiago

I had a restless sleep because I was excited and nervous for Santiago. Could it really be that my adventure was coming to an end? I had a huge part of me that did not want to say goodbye to the friends I have made and wanted us to continue to walk on. But I was also excited because I was going to continue to walk to the end of the earth with my sister! She was arriving in two days to finish the trip with me and then we planned to go visit family together, Barcelona and possibly Majorca.

My friend Sara in the morning messaged me and reminded me to enjoy every moment today. I tried to keep that in mind as I walked. Today I walked almost all of this alone until I actually arrived in Santiago. It was a nice walk and I tried to be mindful of every step I took. 

No surprises it was raining a lot and I did not get to take as many pictures as I had hoped but staying in the moment is where my intention was at and these conditions demand your presence.

I was able to meet up with my friend Caio right as I crossed the edge of the city of Santiago. We still had about a 30 minute walk to the Cathedral. 

I remember feeling so tired walking in and it seemed like a long walk to the Cathedral. On the way to the Cathedral we ran into our Korean friends – Sunny & D1!

As we continued to walk toward the Cathedral we show crowds of people, heard lovely music in the distance and circled around to the front of it! 

I cannot believe I made it! After 31 days I am here in Santiago! My Camino did not unfold as I expected – never anticipated the injuries and rest days, taking a bike through two stages, and going off course of my book, etc. My Camino unfold as it was meant to and I am forever grateful for this experience!

I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be when I arrived, maybe it was because of the exhaustion, maybe because I knew this still wasn’t the end but one thing is for sure even though I finished with a dear friend, I came alone and did this trip for myself.

I am very proud of myself for deciding to do something like this that I thought I couldn’t do for a million reasons. It is jaw dropping to me the power that fear has and how easily we can talk ourselves out of things. The Camino to Santiago was an incredible experience. I had some very low moments and some very high moments. I got to really face myself, heal some of the separated pieces of my soul I came here to mend and find again, and made some lifetime friends. I will process my experience more in later posts but hands down I would/will do this again!

Melide – – – O Perouzo

Here is our pulpo it was cooked well but I think I was a little off with the seasoning.

It rained more today and holy cow there are a ton of people on the trail. It is sort of annoying because a lot of these people are tourist just trying to complete the last 100 to get the Compostela and it has a different feeling than when you first start in St. Jean and there is a lot of people. I had to practice a lot of patience as I tried to navigate through the sea of school children.

It was really nice though to see families together and dogs on the trail. Although rainy this portion was beautiful as well, very green and lush.

We walked a lot today…I think 34 km because we could not find any albergues! We had to stay in a pension that was way overpriced for what it was, a disappointment but tomorrow is Santiago!

I should have taken a picture but we did end the day with another great bottle of wine with a huge steak! It was a low key day because of the rain. I started to watch a movie called Maidentrip that I didn’t get to finish because of the bad wifi but it was truly inspiring! It is about a 15 year old girl who sailed around the world by herself! So far it has been an excellent documentary and I can’t wait to finish it!

Gonzar – – – Melide

It was a very rainy day! I didn’t get to take many pictures or enjoy the walk as much as I would have liked. It was cold and rained a lot!

We ran into Sara and Gianluca again! It was great to walk with Sara again! We talked a lot about life and changes we are working on as well as enjoyed some Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden! Sara is truly a sweet gal and I think she has a bright future ahead as a nurse in San Diego! I appreciate her honesty and she has been incredibly kind to me! I hope our paths cross again and we have talked about going to South Korea to visit our friends we met on the Camino.

Although rainy, I am feeling very happy! I like to view the rain as a cleanse…cleansing my soul and the sound and smell of rain is the best medicine!

I mentioned earlier after given the nickname donkey, I see them everywhere and this donkey takes the prize for carrying all of this! When Caio saw this he said, “it’s you!” When I see fotos of myself with my pack I can see a strong resemblance! 🙂

Everyone said that Melide had the best pulpo (octopus) but the truth is that it was alright and I have had better!

Sarria – – – Gonzar

We are getting close to Santiago – only four more stages to go!

It is sprinkling on and off today but we are told there will be lots of rain the next few days!

So I never noticed any donkeys before but after I received this nickname they have been showing up everywhere!

One of my favorite things on the Camino is seeing all the animals. This older woman was tending to these cows and it was so great to see the relationship the have and how she gracefully directed them.

Although a gloomy day it was beautiful and I cannot get over how green Galicia is and how similar it feels to the Basque Country.

Caio found this awesome feather! I looked some of the symbolism behind feathers and they are all fitting for him. They symbolize-Truth, Speed, Lightness, Flight and Ascension.

We passed through some beautiful areas today and we made our way to Gonzar a very small town.

We made it to Portmarin which is a little bigger city. It is odd on the Camino how sometimes you crave a city and fall in love with it like I did Leon and then there are times like today although not big, we wanted to get out fast to arrive to the small town. Although you might only have three places to eat and two places to chose from to stay, the small towns have so much charm, radiate calmness and the people are so kind!

It turned out to be a cold and rainy walk to Gonzar and we were very happy when we arrived.
We really enjoyed this albergue and there was only one person with us here, a man from Russia who literally looked like a vampire. He could not speak English or Spanish but we nice but so pale and made movements that truly like a vampire. I slept with one eye open this night! 😉

Everyday in Galicia ended with white wine because it is truly the best in this region!

O’Cebreiro – – – Sarria

Well the hike was a tough to O’Cebreiro and Caio and I both started to feel our injuries come back. We talked the previous night about using bikes and in the morning when I woke up my body said, “you are not walking today,” so we rented bikes!

I heard from many pilgrims who walked these two stages that it was incredible but we had the absolute best time on the bikes and truly I have never felt more free going so fast downhill.

I wish I captured more pictures through this ride but I was so present during this ride that this in itself was too beautiful to stop and capture. It was great practice to trust myself, trust Caio through some technical parts and to push myself to trying something new like this.

I am terrible at going up hill on a bike and this was extremely hard at times but Caio was encouraging and helped me along the way. I fell three times which was pretty funny…mainly it’s because my backpack makes it hard to distribute the weight well and oh, yeah I rarely ride a bike…Caio got a kick out of this. He many times effortlessly rode with no hands and zig zagged through the road..

We did 44 kilometers today to Sarria and when we arrived we ran into two of our good Camino friends Sara from Chicago and Gianluca from Sicily. We were able to catch up with them before they headed onward to a different town. They have been  walking 30+km a day!

Once we got settled in we treated ourselves to a very nice dinner and had amazing Ribeiro wine at this great restaurant!

Villafranca – – – O’Cebreiro

We started early and had an amazing breakfast! Simple omelet, toast and coffee but what made it amazing was the level of love and care our hospitaleros showed us! They adored us and were so kind! It was a beautiful morning walk and we had some incredible views along the way!

Caio and I continue to walk together and have really authentic conversations where we give each other feedback about some of the things we notice about one another and areas we could grow. Caio, told me I needed to trust my inner compass more and don’t ask so much for his or anyone else’s opinion…that I need to pause, breathe and trust I always have the answer. It is interesting because I hadn’t told him this was an area I needed to grow in but it goes to show how attuned our friendship is and it really is one of the areas (among the many) i came on the Camino to work on is trust myself more and develop that inner compass/center more strongly. 

This was a tough day hiking up to O’Cebreiro but was a beautiful day! It was hot at times but we enjoyed lots of cherries along the way and it as so beautiful when we reached the top! I had a great time reuniting with familiar faces and meeting new friends!

We had a great dinner and then listed to jazz music and Brazilian music with a Colombian and Spaniard in the evening!

The sunset was out of the world and truly a beautiful sight before heading off to bed in our large albergue with 60 other people! You can only imagine what a symphony of snoring sounds like!