Camino de Santiago 29Aug 9th, 2012 | By Admin | Category: Travel
The biggest takeaway for me was the people. There was such a variety of ages, nationality, and stories. It’s hard for me to express how quickly connections are made. I met some really terrific people and the most shocking part about my journey is I got to say goodbye to most of them. What I mean is that you don’t know who you are going to run into on any given day and you never know if it’s the last time you’ll see someone. When I got to Santiago, and the end of my journey, I ran into almost everyone I had met along the way. I’d turn a corner and there was someone, just standing there. In the end, I really did get to say goodbye. So this post is all about the people I met along the way. Click the play button to this Green Day song and listen to these great lyrics as you scroll down.
The very first people I met on the Camino were my Portuguese friends who live in Switzerland. They were only on the Camino for a week and I was so lucky to run into and hang out with them. They introduced me to being open and trusting on the Camino.
I met my California friends, Sarah and Abby, a few days into the journey and I walked the most with them on my trip. This is an example of how the Camino works. The girls got a few days ahead of me about halfway through the journey, but as I walked into Santiago on the 25th (bottom picture) they are the first people I see. It was awesome.
I met Xavi and Raul (Spaniards) while walking with Sarah and Abby. It was funny how we would all start the day alone and at different times, but we would all end up at the same alburgue at night. So I would see these guys again and again until they got ahead of me on way. I never got to say goodbye to Raul, but Xavi was one of the last persons I ran into on the street in Finisterre.
Brian (below) was my a cool civil engineering Irish professor. I only spent one day with him but we just chatted the whole time. I didn’t get to see him in the end and say goodbye but the next time I’m in Ireland I’ll be tracking him down.
Karen was another person I spent the day walking with and I wish I’d gotten the chance to say goodbye. She was from New York and hopefully we will run into each other again down the road.
I met Silvia about halfway into the journey. She’s Italian but lives in Belgium and has traveled and lived in some really cool places. So on my last day in Spain I am walking back to my swank lighthouse hotel on the coast of Finisterre and who do I run into on the road…Silvia!
So she turned around and came back to the lighthouse and we watched the sun set on the Atlantic with a glass of wine.
I met Canadian John and Australian Susan at around the same time. We spent a terrific day in Moliniska together hanging by the river, eating dinner, and watching the town nearly burn down. John’s son met him on the Camino a week out of Santiago so he got behind me. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again, but there he was on my last day in Santiago outside the church. So glad I got to say goodbye to him because we had a really great connection.
Susan became one of my best friends on the Camino. She is in the middle of an around-the-world ticket and was one of the last people I hung out with in Finisterre. I know we will be traveling together or meet up somewhere in the world. See you again Susan!
So I am walking alone and this young Polish girl comes up and asks if she can walk with me. We walked together for only a short time period but I really enjoyed her company. She was doing the Camino with her brother. It made me wonder what it would be like to do something of this scale with one of my brothers.
And, of course, I run into her and her brother in Finisterre and I get to say goodbye.
I met Francois from South Africa about halfway into my trip but I didn’t talk with him until one night Canadian John and I ate dinner with him. I love Francois and I really want to go visit him in South Africa. Once we got to know each other we had the best time hanging out.
We spent time together in Finisterre eating pizza, going to the beach, and just chatting about life.
Near the end of the Camino I walked with Frank from Germany and my Spaniard Javier (who always smelled terrific).
Frank and I took some really great photos at the Cathedral in Santiago.
Meeting Javier made me wish I knew Spanish. He’s so nice and has such positive energy. He was a lot of fun to walk with but the language barrier was brutal. Time for me to buy a copy of Rosetta Stone so I can go back to Spain!
Below are some pictures of other people and times from along the way and here is my second song by Kris Allen: Let’s live like we’re dying!
In the end, I had the time of my life!