Camino Stories | Day 23 (Retrospective)

Looking Back. Moving Forward

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Joey Magia

N.B: The Camino has ended. I got to Santiago and have now returned to Barcelona. But I left this journal of notes and thoughts incomplete. Here is the first of many retrospectives to close the loop.

Day 23 took me from Lubián to A Gudiña and was by far the most difficult trek of the Camino. The non-stop pouring rain was so incessant that my feet slushed as though stepping in puddles of water. I had to take a break in a cafe midway and was joined by a fellow pilgrim. Together we dried out our shoes (a bit), changed clothes and rested for a good while with cups of tes to warm us.

Looking back on the trek, it was a very memorable one. I can palpably recall the nagging thoughts of stopping, and wondering how long was left to reach the Albergue at A Gudiña. Surprisingly, after trodding in the rain drenched from head to toe for some time, it became tolerable. Each step became just another metre covered, taking me closer to my destination. And whenever the rain subsided - even just a little bit - it felt as though I was walking under clear skies.

At Fuenterroble de Salvatierra, I rested a day at the Albergue to avoid the heavy rain. I could not imagine walking under persistent raindrops streaking down every pocket and zipper opening to wet my clothes and soak my shoes as I navigated the highways and dehesa plains.

But once I reached A Gudiña, took a shower, and dried out my battle-worn Camino gear, I appreciated the fortitude of my steps. The theory of planning could not have prepared me for the practicality of taking action.

And all that was needed to begin, was just one step out of comfort.



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