Monday, August 8, 2016

WORDS from "Santiago or Bust"

No idea why the last post failed to include copy but here it is. To read older posts from either this Camino or my last one in 2013, please visit


Tomorrow (God-willing) is the big day! 

I failed to write yesterday because I was just so exhausted. I trekked what the book asked of me (27.4km) and it took me ALL day (10hrs) and I walked through hours and hours of 91 degree weather. Up the hills, down the hills, I trekked. The guidebook warned that the daily elevation map was not representative of the actual climbs ...and it was right. 

Yesterday morning I set out late and by myself but
as I took a brief rest on the side of the trail who should walk up the Brits!  They were only going to my halfway point for the day so I walked with them all morning and enjoyed our chat. They were really big on stopping at all the tiny stone churches and so we stopped in the one pictured here. And it turned out that the church was having adoration so I took advantage of the opportunity to spend a few moments in prayer with the Lord and then explained the significance to my non-Catholic companions. 

A little after lunchtime we had arrived at their destination and we said our goodbyes but not before exchanging emails and promising to meet in Santiago to share a glass of champagne. 

(I thought the pilgrim statues which gracefully pointed the way were cute.)

In the afternoon I would see the hippy group that I saw the evening prior. This time we would sit and chat, meeting Ben and Sharon (mother and son) from California, Liam the Canadian who lives in New Zealand, and Jens (pronounced Yinz) from Denmark. 

Most of the crew was staying in that town, but the Dane thought he would press on. I left them all to their octopus burgers (pulpo is a delicacy in this region) and continued on my way in the nasty heat. 

I slogged through another 90m or so before breaking at a small German cafe. And it wasn't long, before up trotted the Dane. We chatted for a little bit and he (21, a total pot enthusiast, a very fast walker, and a funny guy) informed me that he needed to slow down for the rest of the day because his knees were giving him trouble so we walked together a bit before he sped off but we both planned to end in the same village. 

A few hours a later I arrived in that town and we saw each, exchanged hellos and made introductions to a few new people that he knew. They settled in at the albergue and I got a room at the pension across the street. I arrived at 7:30p or so, and after a shower and laundry it was quickly 9:30p and I passed out. 

Today I woke up and was on the road by 8am and walked for about 45m straight uphill into a busy little city with many cafes. I wandered in to one of them to get something to eat since I didn't have dinner the night before and who should I see but the Dane. 

So I sat down and joined him for what would wind up being a full day together. Our dear young Danish friend is quite the talker, a science buff, a boyfriend to his ginger girlfriend and a weed connoisseur. On most occasions I probably would have lost a lot of patience with him but on a long difficult day (24.4k) like today with feet that are in quite a bit of pain (I picked up a new blister on the bottom of my left foot the day before) and pinky toes are hell on wheels, I was quite glad to have him as a distraction. His knees and ankles have been giving him trouble so he was happy to "slow down" to my 4.3k/hr speed. 

So we slogged through today together. We made it to the end of the stage in the book, which leaves us approximately 20k short of Santiago. When we arrived about 4pm, both of the albergues we went to were full. Ugh. But the young man working the second albergue spoke some English and was exceptionally kind. He offered to call a couple more places for us. Full. He tried one last nearby hostel which had 2 beds available and we were set! Jackpot! 

So we arrived and got settled in. I did the customary unveiling of the feet to discover a new blister between my toes which is actually a blood blister. I swear I can't win for losing. All of this intensified by the fact that the skin on my left pinky toe has completely torn off leaving raw skin underneath. It is as painful as you think it is. 

So here I sit, 20k outside of Santiago and again saying "no idea what I'll be able to do tomorrow" and "we'll see what they're like in the morning". But I'll say one thing, even with all of that in mind: tomorrow is Santiago or Bust!  And as the Dane added "it might be both". :)


  1. Well, I think I would've passed on the octopus burger too. Phew! You sure traveled a long way! After church today, I did a few errands and I was wearing shoes that were a little tight. They started pinching my feet, and the discomfort only made me even more in awe of all you've done, Jill! It's amazing! I prayed for you today at church. Best wishes for tomorrow!

  2. Home stretch Jill. You're almost there. Mighty woman!! On my prayer list.

  3. GOOD JOB Jill. Rest, relaxation and Lino hugs are so very close.

  4. Jill, you're almost there. Stay strong God Bless.

  5. Wow Jill you are amazing! I'm so impressed. Matthew 25:23 pertains to you! Prayers continue... Your on the home stretch and will soon be back home with your hubby. :)

  6. I think Leno should have a wheel chair at airport for you. He can either push u around or carry u till those feet heal up. LOL

  7. I think Leno should have a wheel chair at airport for you. He can either push u around or carry u till those feet heal up. LOL

  8. I have no doubt that you will make it!!! You are absoluteky amazing, and I can't thank you enough for this wonderful blog...I have learned so much and have been so inspired by you.