23 June: Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela again. 

1,083km tracked on our phone app.Plus every day a few more steps were taken as we nosied around and went out to buy food. In fact, speaking of steps, we averaged about 33,000 a day and our maximum was just shy of 60,000 (which was crazy for our third day of walking and certainly not planned that way)But this walk was not actually about numbers. (And despite the photo above, it was not just about Camino cookies either)

Quite a few times people have told the kids this experience will stay with them forever. Some have said they probably won’t truly appreciate it until they are older. 

I wondered what the children themselves thought so I asked them. Ella-Rose (10 years) thought young kids might appreciate it more because it’s easier for them – they have better balance than older people who struggle on slippery rocks. Levi (15) suggested you’d appreciate it for different reasons at different ages. Older people might enjoy the break from work and very old people might appreciate even being *able* to do it, whereas young people might enjoy the new experience that they are less likely  to have had before and the freedom that comes with looser boundaries (Guess what he has enjoyed!!) They all agreed everyone, regardless of age, might enjoy meeting new people, although according to Micaiah (13), this could depend on your degree of extroversion or introversion. He also proposed the thought that you might appreciate it later in life in a new way you cannot imagine now if it somehow ends up influencing a decision you might make (for example, about work ….or there was one boy who ended up studying Spanish in South America for a year simply because of being in the university town of Salamanca and falling in love with it)

I also asked the kids if they had learnt anything on the Camino……Patience. Walking is so much slower than any other form of transport and you learn to slow down. Appreciation of what you have. When you are without something (like beds or books or different clothes or a washing machine), you realise how much you usually take those things for granted. When you don’t get a hot shower, you can still appreciate having water to wash with.

Appreciation of what is around you. Like scenery, people and weather.
Confidence. You realise you can do hard things. You appreciate the achievement when you have had to work for something. You could probably transfer this thinking to other areas of life too. (You sure could kiddos!) 
(First glimpse of the cathedral) 

It gives you a sense of how big the world is. When you walk a mere couple of inches on the map and it takes you weeks and weeks, you start to understand the vastness of the globe! 

 The children may not have raised this point, but they have been witness over the past seven weeks to the impermanence of *stuff* and we thought again as we paused on this bridge, a memorial at the  site of the tragic high speed train derailment that claimed 79 lives almost three years ago, that you never know when your time will be up, but that it is important to be ready.

While the adult observations that the kids probably will not fully appreciate this experience until later is most likely accurate, there is still a lot that they have gained already and are aware of doing so.

Distance: 17km to the cathedral Total Distance: 963km + 120km sightseeing on City Visiting Days


6 thoughts on “23 June: Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela

  1. Congratulations! 😀

    I think Levi’s observation is quite insightful, and also true in my experience. You can also tell by merit of revisiting places you’ve been before, like you guys are doing now I guess- it’s always interesting to revisit a “timeless” kind of place and reflect, and realize what is different about you versus before.

  2. It’s good to get an insight into the kids thought processes. Thanks for sharing Rach. You’ll soon be home. I really think you and Rob should pop across here for a visit while we’re still here.

  3. Love this post (actually love all your posts!!), a gorgeous reflection on time well spent. Amazing job all of you, thanks for sharing the “ride” – has been one of the highlights of the days here xxx

  4. I dare say that the kids have also learned quite a lot about their mother over the past 3 Caminos- and vice versa. They will so appreciate these experiences over the years to come. Great leadership Rach. Bravo!

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