Writing from Santiago de Compostela – Day 28

We awoke after a deep sleep ready for our final trek into Santiago de Compostela! The end of this grand 799 km hike adventure and my One Girl project. It was the perfect day to end the walk being Mother’s Day. I’ve always thought that educating girls in Africa was my way of supporting another mother’s daughter. What a beautiful thought as I entered Santiago – 25 Mother’s daughters will be safely in school next year.

Days on the Camino – 28

Kms – Today 33 kms. Finished (28 days)!

Starting point today –Salcedo, Spain.

End of the day – Santiago de Compostella, Spain.

Number of girls in Africa educated – 25

Total funds raised so far – $7425.00. Goal is $10 per km so $7,690.00 just $165 to go!

If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.

Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress.

Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.

Dedicated to – All of you who read here and follow on IG. You have supported me every step of the way in you own beautiful ways. This was always more than walking the camino, this was about adventure, kindness and humility. I’m proud I walked the camino but more than that I’m proud of putting myself out there to create change. Thank you for being my safety net.

I’ve written these blogs on my phone and often tired late at night – so despite the errors and diary type writing it’s overwhelming how many of you have been so excited and followed along.

Accommodation – We checked into a hostel/hotel for 3 nights! Can you believe it. No backpack on tomorrow. I don’t fly for a week so lots of time to take in what we’ve just done!

Food highlight – There are no food photos on my camera roll from yesterday! Perhaps I’ll change it up and say eating a bag of chips and drinking a bottle of wine with my sister in our beds was pretty darn special!

Word/s of the day – Time to soak it all in.

Last leg of the trek! On my last legs :). We did our usual morning things. Eat our bananas, pack our packs, fill the water bottles, start the gps and the room check. As we’re getting tireder it feels easier to leave something behind. So far we have left two things. Kris a power adapter, me a hair comb. So we share.

The signs say just over 28kms but my GPS always takes us there in 3-4 more kms. My shins feel ok as I potter around the room. I’ve used some anti inflammatory gel and taken some ibuprofen.

The first 800 metres were tender going so we stopped for breakfast! Ha ha not even 1km into the day – it might be a long one. Bacon and eggs, coffee and fresh OJ – our standard breaky.

After breakfast I feel ok, the right leg feels good. It feels like I’ve walked through that one! Honestly what we can walk through astounds me. I’m currently walking through physical pain but others on this trail have walked through addictions, break ups, transitions, loss. Where else in the world can you walk for 30 odd days and have all your needs met (carrying the basics in your back) and meet kind, honest caring people every step of the way. The camino is a special trail. And I think most people walk into themselves not Santiago de Compostella.

It’s the down hill that seems to trigger the pain and thankfully today was a beautiful track mostly surrounded by woodlands. Walking into a city can sometimes be arduous as you pass through industrial estates. Not today, it’s country life – I can hear the birds singing and see the cows feeding.

Had this day been earlier in the trek I would have taken a break for sure. But now we’re so close. I want to push through.

The last 100kms feels different, our friends from the beginning are either behind or in front. We’ve met a couple of nice Andy’s. UK Andy and German/Irish Andrew, both always just around the corner. We can’t wait to catch up with them in Santiago.

Andrew you didn’t have to carry me in! I made it. But thanks for the offer. I’m a lot heavier than that back pack of yours so I’m not sure you would have pulled it off! Even with your gutsy strength :). Not only a super new camino friend but a super hiker – a 22 day Camino from St Jean.

Many new sprightly trekkers join the camino for the last 100kms. It’s time to reach the end and wind it up. Time to celebrate what an amazing adventure we’ve been on and what we’ve achieved.

So we walk, forward, just as we have every day for the past 27. Laughing at ourselves and each other. It wasn’t quite as slow and excruciating as yesterday but for sure a few of days rest will be welcome.

We didn’t make it to the cathedral for our official ending, nor did we collect our compostella. We opted to go straight to the hotel, in all honesty it was all I could manage on my painful shin. Edit: I’ve had them checked and it’s tendonitis so a few days rest, all good. So that means your inboxes will still bring you news from Santiago for a few days yet, plus you know I love a good reflection.

As we were walking into Santiago I knew in my mind that this wasn’t going to be a moment that made the adventure! It was simply the end of the trail. All the moments, the memories, the meaning … that all happened along the way.

Lovely friends who have come along for this journey! It’s not the end just the beginning.

Buen Camino,

Fran xx

4 thoughts on “Writing from Santiago de Compostela – Day 28”

  1. What a treat; two blog posts today! I look foward to your reflections dear Fran. Soak it all up now. You did it. Twenty five mothers’ daughters; oh that is special.
    Much love
    Janet xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooo I may have just let out a squeal of delight. I was worried about those shins Fran. But like you mentioned, the body is amazing as to what it will endure.
    Thanks for reminding me about the journey. It’s all about the journey isn’t it? And living all those wonderful moments.
    Enjoy all those moments in Santiago and catching up with all your Camino friends. What a buzz. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fitting tribute to end the trip on Mother’s Day with 25 girls educated! Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you! I was right with you with that pain and frustration of the pain – so glad you are feeling better and it happened so late in the game. Down hills, yes, that is exactly what triggers mine, but I get it after only 2 hours of hills, not 26 days :)

    Wow, so many thoughts swirling I’m sure. Enjoy your few days “off” and thanks again for writing all your posts for us! xx Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

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