Halfway!!! Officially … even though my GPS had me there days ago and maybe also my achey feet. How does it feel to be halfway? Pretty amazing. I’m feeling restored and unequivocal about what matters moving forward. I’m no where near ready to be at the end so thankfully there’s 380 odd kms to go and a couple of weeks.
Oh and WOW thank you One Girl for writing such a kind blog post.
Days on the Camino – 16
Kms – Today 32 kms.
Starting point today – Calzadilla de la Cueza, Spain.
End of the day – Bercianos del Real Camino, Spain.
Number of girls in Africa educated – 20
Total funds raised so far – $6,205.00.
If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.
Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.
Today was dedicated to – My dear friend Sue. She started as my mentor when I was studying midwifery and coincidentally we had everything in common at that time. It was a friendship that bloomed. At that time of our lives were ‘all’ babies and if we didn’t see each other we’d debrief with at least a phone call a day. Now we struggle with a phone call a year! But no matter – it’s a friendship that endures and distance has brought us closer as we connect over things beyond parenting. I admire your passion and absolute dedication to making this world kinder, calmer and more honest Sue. I adore our friendship and I hope that one day we live in the same city again!
Accommodation – After a sluggish morning and let’s be honest a sluggish last 6kms we arrived at our pre-booked dorm room (€15 each) Bercianos1900 to find they’d overbooked! They were so apologetic and quickly found us a room at a hostel 100 meters down the road. Bonus – it’s a twin room! Zero complaints from us.
Food highlight – This was breakfast! Two rounds. Don’t worry I eat fruit before I stop at the 10km mark, but man the pain au chaocolat was unreal! I think on account of the sluggish start ;). Yesterday was big so when we noticed that peanut butter toast option – um YES please. A kind American girl offered me a banana after smelling my toast which would have been awesome but I couldn’t take her banana, they’re hiking gold! Dinner was also superb but out of respect for my dear friend Sue who is a vegetarian and who I’m dedicating today to I won’t post it.
In a word(s) – Strong.
A walking holiday lends itself to a more humble, sustainable existence.
We buy food, drinks and lodging. Small businesses in towns with declining populations exist because more people are walking the camino. I love this kind of economics. In one of early my posts I talked about the rising number of people walking a camino. It’s breathing life into towns that would otherwise be ghost towns.
In general it’s easy not to contribute to waste. The trails are not littered and most of us fill our own water bottles and bladders. Out of interest I carry a 2L water bladder and 1L flask. I refill them each night. Those bladders need good care after an adventure. If they’re not dried out properly before storing they’ll go mouldy.
All the food we’ve eaten is generally home cooked with real food in private albergue’s that feel like they are someone’s family home. I’ve seen the veggies get chopped and added to the pot. As we walk through towns we see the bread and pastries as they’re delivered by the baker to the restaurants and shops. When you eat home cooked it’s not only better for you but also the planet as food and plastic waste is reduced.
While people buy the essentials – food and shelter no one is buying plastic souvenirs… who wants (needs) to carry any extra weight! Nor is anyone using take away cups for coffee – it takes less than 10 mins to stop and enjoy a coffee.
Currently we’re excitedly planning our walk into León. Can you imagine how awesome it is to be planing a city stay based on walking into that city and calculating the days it will take to do that?
Everyday I wake up and put my uniform on. Layered by Wilderness Wear ethically made, supporting Aussie farmers. It makes life so simple, the same clothes each day! So many reduced decisions. Let’s be honest don’t we go for the same things at home most days?
Right from the beginning the 8kgs on my back felt significant. It felt exciting to live with all I need in my pack, except for food of course. It still does. I often question if there is something I could do without. I could you know … I think I could drop another kg.
As we walked ourselves into a new region today and over the halfway mark I feel a new mindset moving in. Even though we are focussed only on the day ahead we’re now walking towards Santiago, towards home. Soon it’ll be time to consider what comes next … what am I moving towards?
I think it’s the same thing I felt from the beginning. Taking sometime to refocus on building a more sustainable existence, one that’s kinder to the planet. Mostly in the kitchen, without excuses for ‘fast’ convenience. The difference is that after this phenomenal reset I feel stronger and less ready to compromise what’s important. I’m ready to source what I need in my new home away from Australia.
Sometimes a reset in life is required. Over the years I’ve had a few of those. They have come from different the challenges I’ve faced. The difference with this one is I stepped into it knowingly. I chose it. We can’t always choose the challenges we face but we can choose to step into them and accept what we need to do.