It’s 7:18 pm in Santiago, and the windows in my lovely private room are open, sounds of the street filtering up to me—Spanish, English, Italian, French, other languages I’m not sure I would be able to identify correctly. This morning, I remembered that the Janets are in Santiago (they skipped a few stages so they could be here for Sunday mass) and Will reached out. Janet 1 volunteered to pick up dinner for me tonight, and Janet 2, a nurse who recently had Covid, offered medical advice. This is wonderful, because Santiago is so busy, and I’m concerned about passing on Covid to anyone else. I’m feeling so lethargic—for the last hour, I’ve been contemplating getting the tweezer from my bag, but haven’t had the energy—but otherwise I’m okay. Friends have been texting and leaving encouraging comments, and I don’t feel so alone.
In short, it could be much worse and I’m grateful to have this lovely space to rest.
Since the 10th century, people have been walking the Camino de Santiago (or the Way of St. James) in search of spiritual enlightenment. Those people didn’t have Hoka One Ones or Altra Lone Peak 6s, and there was no Compeed to pop onto a blister. They didn’t have an app on their smart phones that told them the elevation between stages and the kms between villages. For them, it was truly an act of blind faith.
And I’ll let you know right now I couldn’t have done it. Those old pilgrims were true badasses.
It’s weird to be in Santiago but not really be here. While I was waiting for my hotel room I wandered around nearby streets (so tired!) but didn’t go to the Cathedral. That’s the backdrop of a million triumphant “we finished!” photos, but it doesn’t feel right for me to be there. Maybe I’ll get over that and visit tomorrow—or maybe not. Although I can’t figure out the remote to adjust the subtitles, I’m enjoying the Spanish version of CSI Miami, and I downloaded a new book on my Kindle app. In short, I will be fine.
And then, the Janets arrived with my dinner. Bread, Galician cheese, a torta de Santiago, and promises to return in the morning with medicine, an N-95 mask, and bottles of water. (I told them I’m drinking tap water, and they had twin horrified expressions.)
Will is now two days from Santiago. We’ve been texting, and I’m glad he’s feeling good and doing the hard work. I got about 7,000 steps today, and he walked 19 miles. Hopefully we both sleep well. —Paula
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