Days 28 & 29: Samos to Ferreiros to Ventas de Narón (AKA “Take Time to Watch the Sunrise”)

I very sleepily conducted a Facebook live video the other night after posting the last blog here. I felt bad at first to look a little tired on camera, to maybe be a little slow in answering questions and a little embarrassed to realize that the alignment of the camera was off at first… but then I remembered, OH YEAH I’m walking quite a bit every day and I happen to be carrying all my belongings on my back like a snail. So I have forgiven myself.

The evening in the monastery in Samos was a little less spiritual and centering than I had hoped for. Instead I found myself obsessively checking the bed for bugs, scoffing at the hoards of people that kept filing into the donativo albergue at the monastery (side note: I can’t imagine doing this in the peak of the summer when there is a mad rush for beds every single day!), and then I was annoyed that I couldn’t find any wifi connection strong enough to download the next episode of Stranger Things 2. Hey, a girl needs her creature comforts in the form of Netflix on the iPhone after walking 25km and writing a blog.

I managed to get a little sleep, then Drew and I took off early to continue along our alternative route on a very spooky and misty Halloween morning. Parts of it even felt quite like the ‘upside down.’ We were both feeling a bit witchy and spent some time conjuring up even more mist and spirits and ghouls and ghosts. Instead we met a couple of cool guys from Portugal who thought we were a little crazy, but then we took turns singing songs we had made up about the Camino. Anyone who decides to walk this has to be a little crazy, after all. We tried to take it slow and to enjoy the walk. As we get closer and closer to Santiago, it is more apparent that this will come to an end and… what have I learned? What epiphany has been had? Have my life choices been sorted out? Obviously I can’t put to much pressure on achieving some sort of “AHA!” moment, but it’s hard not to judge that just a little bit. So in consciously trying to slow down and take in every moment, I am trying to linger at the complexity of a cobweb, to literally stop and smell the roses, to stop and turn around and face East at sunrise and enjoy the gloriousness of dawn on the Camino. These moments are limited and so I am doing my best to absorb as much as I can.

Last night we found a nice albergue, which sadly wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped due to the lack of warm hosts. Sort of like when you meet a hot guy but then he’s a douchebag. This is the Camino equivalent. The facility was lovely, nice new rooms and beds and even an area to sit and play games and drink wine… but it completely lacked personality and a warm welcome from the hosts. Left me feeling a little jaded about this last stretch of the Camino, so I am hoping that one of my albergue hosts in the coming days will turn my frown upside down.

This morning it was an easy 20km walk to the next stop of the Camino. It was a chillier day, we walked through groupings of burnt trees, there was a gentle hum of melancholy… but the European robins kept flying ahead and perching to greet us, chirping and clicking and singing our spirits upward. Today we are in a cozy albergue which would be a lot cozier if they would turn on the heat. It’s so cold! So it means I have to use a questionable wool blanket on top of my sleeping bag… which you can probably guess that I HATE. Please send your prayers that I will somehow get over this paranoia about the bugs, thank you!

Tonight after dinner, the plan is to watch a little Stranger Things, then get to bed early for a good rest. We expect the rain to start tomorrow and last for a few days, perhaps taking us all the way in to Santiago. I’m actually really looking forward to the metaphorical cleansing of the end of the Camino being enhanced by actual rainfall. Tomorrow will be a 25km-ish walk and after that, only three more days! I am already so sad to think about this ending. Luckily, my Dad joins me in Santiago and we will walk for four days together to Finisterre then one more day to go up to Muxia. I really won’t know how to handle not walking when we reach Muxia! Lucky for me, the plan is to celebrate with a trip to Porto, Lisbon and then Barcelona.

Thank you so much to my awesome sponsors of Days 28 and 29! My day yesterday was sponsored by the amazing Jasper G., a wonderfully creative man who has nourished and encouraged me to pursue some wild dreams (and he loaned me “The Pilgrimage” earlier this year!). Thank you Jasper! The day was also sponsored by Jordan S., who is a brilliant playwright and a joy to work with. Last year on Halloween he, dressed as Sia, asked me to be in a reading of his play, so it was fitting for Halloween to be his day too. And my angel of the day today was the lovely and amazing birthday girl, my very own Oma, Lore D.! Thank you so much Oma for being such a courageous trailblazer yourself, and for your unbelievable and unwavering support over the years. Love you lots and Happy Birthday!

Okay dinner is served shortly, so that’s it for now. Adios!

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