Saturday, 17 September 2011

Reunion; day 29

With just 4 days to go, kilometres in the double figures for the first time, and many more pilgrims on the road, the excitement is palpable. Celebration is so close we've already begun. Pilgrims are staying up later and later and getting louder and louder. Calls and emails with 'mi familia gallega' has multiplied. My parents arrived in Galicia yesterday. They regularly come here to visit family and this time they planned the trip to coincide with my arrival in Santiago. My husband arrives tomorrow night in Santiago. I'm starting to go a little crazy at the thought of seeing everyone again.

After sharing 3 freshly baked pain au chocolats for breakfast and drinking enough coffee to swim in (or fuel a rocket launch) Liz and I left the gorgeous new albergue in Barbadelo and continued the hilly walk through small farming hamlets that were covered in cow pat and ever more ancient forests. I was followed by a robin redbreast for a while in one such forest. I wondered what magic awaited me. There's always magic on the camino. You can never know what form it will take though.
We stopped off in a few little coffee shops. We met and talked with familiar faces. Liz wasn't feeling well. We stopped in Portomarin. I refuelled and Liz tried to get her energy back. Liz was clearly suffering and you need everything you have for a 25+km walk a tummy upset is not good news at all. Arrows misled us and made us walk more than we had to, into places that didn't seem to want our custom anyway. We decided to continue to Gonzar, a hamlet that had two albergues, a church and not much else.

My family had conspired, managed to piece together a few conversations and my blog to figure out where I was. Liz and I were sitting in the courtyard when all of a sudden I spotted a familiar face peaking round the door. I sprung to my feet, could hardly believe my eyes as my mum then my dad then my cousin and her husband one by one came through the albergue doors. It was unbelievable. Group hugs, kisses, introductions to Liz who was welling up at the sight of it all; what a surprise and what a reunion. We spent the evening together. Talking, eating, enjoying. It was so wonderful to be able to be with my family and with Liz and on the camino. It was like two worlds meeting. And I felt honoured to have these people around me, in my life, caring for me, loving me, being who they are; all truly special. What a blessing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Mum, Dad, Monica, Luis, Liz.
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Location:Barbadelo - Gonzar

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