Day 9 – Caldas de Reis to Padrón

A member of my family told me I should try liquor 43 while I was in Spain. I hadn’t been able to find it until 8am this morning at our “first breakfast” stop. That was a bit too early to try it, considering we still had 16km to walk. Luckily the bar attached to the pension we are staying at tonight had it, so Maurice and I are blogging/journaling and trying liquor 43. It’s pretty tasty but would make better for a dessert drink.

I’m told John decided to walk despite his three broken ribs and broken toe. At least Rachel and Nina are with him in case he needs any help. We were all prepared for him to take a taxi today and meet us at the pension we booked. But leave it to the stubborn Irishman to sway from the plan. To be honest, this close to Santiago, I likely would have made the same decision. John does live in the part Ireland where my ancestors on my dad’s side come from, so maybe we are related. This would explain the common stubbornness.

Today started off with a misty morning. Luckily it only turned into a real rain one time during our walk. The moment I put my poncho on, it faded to a mist again. Though the mist can be annoying, it’s also a bit refreshing. You must walk on despite the weather, so you just have to decide to make the most of it. Justine and I definitely make the most of it.

Today went pretty quickly since it was only about 20km. It was nice running into our German friends Anna and Markus who we hadn’t seen in a couple days. Always good to see the smile on a familiar Camino face. It doesn’t matter if you only smiled at the person once before, that simple recognition of a face is enough to help a pilgrim light up. There are two women that we’ve never talked to but the smiles on their faces grow each time we run into them. I don’t think they speak English and I’m not sure where they are from, but that doesn’t matter. We are all pilgrims on this journey together.

About 2/3rds of the way into our walk today, Justine asked when the “big hill” was coming. I told her that according to the guidebook we were already on our way down from it. I think she and I both have hit the point of being in shape enough that hills aren’t something you dread anymore. This is good, because in a few days I’ll be climbing the highest “hill” in the United Kingdom (Ben Nevis).

While I’m partial to everyone in my Camino family, I must say that I’m so incredibly proud of my cousin Justine. She has been the ultimate trooper on this walk. It’s not easy to be a teenager walking with a group of adults but she has taken everything in stride. She’s pushed through blisters, long days, random types of shoes and rainy days and always manages a smile even if she’s feeling pain with every step. I’m so glad she choose to join me on this adventure. It’s been so much fun to get to know the young woman she has become. I’ll be so happy to walk into Santiago with her and the rest of our Camino family.

We are staying on the outskirts of Padrón on the Santiago side to help give us a slight advantage on our final walk tomorrow. I believe we are about 24km out from the cathedral in Santiago. As with the last time walking into Santiago, there are mixed emotions. My body feels like it could use a rest even though I wake up each morning ready for another day but I know the bottoms of my feet are longing for a day where I walk less that 13 miles.

3 thoughts on “Day 9 – Caldas de Reis to Padrón

  1. The emotion and depth of this pilgrimage is definitely shining through as you continue to document your days. Such a nice tribute to Justine.

    Of course, we’re thrilled with the experience you two have been able to share, along with your other pilgrim family AND so proud of both of you.

    A truly meaningful experience for both participants and their many fans!


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