Tuesday, 20 September 2011

And now... The end is near... Day 31

Staying up late, sleeping sardine like in a snory, smelly albergue all contributed to a sleepy morning. We left early and were lucky enough to hook up with George and Michael who had torches for a pre-sunrise walk through some rocky forests. While stopping for breakfast I made plans to meet with Vlad for lunch. He had arrived in Santiago last night and finally being in the same country but 50km apart was too excruciating. Somehow between sending the texts to arrange meeting up and actually meeting up Liz and I entered a time warp. It's like our fresh orange juice was spiked or something. We slowed down, stopped at the most inane things, 'wow check out these beetles', 'wow smell this wild mint' had to keep stopping for food and coffee. It was like an out of the body experience. Eventually about 5 km from where I planned to meet Vlad I pulled myself together and suddenly became turbo-peregrino; speeding to my destination. Initially It was strange seeing Vlad after so long apart. I could see he was trying to get his head around the pilgrim scene - with throngs of them at the coffee shop. I started getting in my head a bit. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for me to do such a life changing thing without him. We talked and he got to know Liz and then he took both our ruck sacks in his hire car and let us fly our way through the next 12 km. I ended up walking with a Hungarian guy who we'd met with a few times along the camino. We had assumed he had come with the girl we always saw him with. They looked very much together and in love. It turns out they met along the camino during the first week and had been together up until a couple of days ago. They had decided to part company for the end because they had to walk their own camino. To ms this was madness. An idea based on a thought, based on a should do. It made me think about the mad idea I'd just had about how I 'should have' done the camino with Vlad. I walked back to the hotel he was staying in quick time and found him mid-siesta. It was good to be together again. We ate together the three of us and talked and enjoyed and drank a little wine and liz and I felt a mixture of feelings about our last day together. Vlad was going to walk it with me but decided, and I agreed, that he would meet me in santiago. I needed to finish my pilgrimage my way.
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