What seemed improbable 1433 Kms ago back in Le Puy en Velay is about to become true. It is possible for two retired teachers to stumble then eventually stride across half a continent. The blisters and sprains are long gone but we are reminded each day as we see new Pilgrims going through the same struggles. Unfortunately for them they will be only getting ready to hike and will be done. We have had the benefit of two months of hiking without the breaking in period. This is not to say that we have had no challenges but we have been able to meet whatever has come our way.
Despite almost constant cold and rainy weather, we have been blessed with good health. No colds or sniffles. No coughing or wheezing. Naturally having a usually warm bed and hot meals each evening help immensely. We have managed to keep clean even though our clothes sometimes need some airing out. I am afraid that our boots are helpless. I just want to get past the bomb sniffing dogs at the airport without being grabbed for a special inspection. The boots have held up well after giving us a few blisters at the beginning. What were new are now well worn and loosing their treads.
Actually all of our stuff has held up well. The backpacks are getting a bit frayed and dirty. Socks still need a daily wash and a finish dry hanging from the back of the packs. Parkas and magic hiking sticks along with other critical items in good shape. Probably will retire some inner wear and the pants are definitely loose. Probably will dump or give away the European sunscreen, soap, detergent, etc. getting ready to head home.
The conversation amongst fellow Pilgrims that we know is about our reactions to reaching Santiago tomorrow. Some say they don’t want the hike to end. Others say they will cry. Not sure what our reactions will be. We have known that we would make it the last few hundred kilometers. Cannot say that we were so sure back in the mountains of France. We managed to stay focused on one day at a time. We needed to do some advance planning for rooms but for the most part we just thought about the task at hand. Peggy likes to compare it with eating an elephant one bite at a time.
The hike today was gentle ups and downs through eucalyptus forests that are grown for pulp. Plenty of shade and tiny villages. The sky was overcast until noon but no rain. We reached O Pedrouzo around one and ate a good pizza after doing 19-20 Kms. Spent the evening with a couple of Irish ladies reviewing plans for the end of the Camino. Everyone has mixed feelings but there is a definite sense of excitement about reaching Santiago. The aches and pains are far behind us at this point.
The old French guys, Roger the Kisser and Francoise
Serious home remodel using traditional techniques and materials.