We made it to Santiago, having walked 400km more than we had anticipated.
Last night the kids were really excited to be almost finished. We have had lots of endings on this walk – the end of the Voie de la Nive, the end of the Camino Baztan, the end of Daddy walking with us, the end of the Meseta, the end of the San Salvador, the end of the Primitivo, the end of the world….but this was to be the real end. The End.
“Could we get up at 5, Mum? Could we sleep in our walking clothes seeing as we’ve just washed them and they’re dry, then we wouldn’t have to spend time changing and we can have our packs all ready to go.”
I set the alarm and spent all night waking to check that I hadn’t slept through the chiming.
I will miss the crunching stones undefoot, the steady rhythm of a gentle uphill climb, the exhilaration of achievement. I will miss the identity and the simplicity.
I wonder how long it will be before I no longer feel fit, strong and healthy. How can I maintain this state of being?
I have heard people talking about how this walk has changed their lives, how they go home different people. I don’t feel this way. The walk was a part of who I already am. It is (almost) completed and that is enough.
I guess if there’s anything I’d like to preserve, it’s this: for the past few weeks Ella-Rose has been my Morning Shadow, walking alongside me, usually in slience, but willingly, her own choice. How do I encourage that kind of companionship at home?
I told the children about the life-changing nature of the Camino for some people and they stared back blankly and kept walking. Then Micki piped up, “Well, it hasn’t changed our lives, but it sure will change the lives of people who get water.”
“And even their children’s and maybe children’s children’s lives,` Levi added.
Our walk was over.