El Camino days 8 and 9 (Grandas de Salime-Fonsagrada-O Cadavo Baleira)

Yesterday we set a blistering pace. This was literal for some. We got to our Albergue, which was quite the dump, around 1230 after a 630 am departure. The reason for all this haste is that the Camino has been especially crowded this year. We were told that there are 2000 more pilgrims along the route that I am on, than have been budgeted for. This could be because it is a Holy year on the Camino, which happens periodically. My guess is no one really knows.

I settled down for a nap, only to be woken by claims of bed bugs. We sprayed down the mattresses as best we could and went to town for lunch/dinner. By the time we returned, it had been decided by the concierge that we would spend the night in a local gym instead, which is fairly common on the Camino when the hostels are full. Anyways, quite the interesting and COLD night but everyone handled it pretty well! For dinner we had the renowned Gallicean Octopus(Pulpo).

The result of pushing the pace for so many days is that my feet were begging for mercy this morning and my knees joined the chorus shortly thereafter. Rough going. I essentially had to accept a slow day today and trust that lodgings would not be a problem. It was much nicer this way. I hope to be back up and running tomorrow but honestly I’m still going to keep it slow. With 5 days left, I want to savor what’s left of this.

I realize that after keeping thoughts about life pre and post Camino pretty much at bay, my mind, body and spirit are finally starting to gear themselves up for whatever is next. And without haven given much thought to the many decisions that await me about careers and places I could live etc., I feel readier than ever for whatever is coming. This 13 or so days feels like a book end, a calm before some change. Good change but change nonetheless. And importantly, a chance to remind myself of who I want to be through it all. The details? I think they will work themselves out.

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