I awoke from my light sleep before dawn. It must had been around 5:25 am. I was anxious and ready to hike the last 19 km to Santiago de Compostela. The terrain was damp from the morning dew, and mist filled the air. Flocks of pilgrims hurried along with us in a silent and eerie frenzy.
My feet had many large blisters, and my knee had been injured days before. The inside of my knee joint bled out from a fall, and still had not healed. Even through the exhaustion and pain, I had a remarkable second wind. I did not stop to rest, nor did I lose my pace for at least 15 km.
Finally, the trek caught up to me and I finally stopped to buy a Kit Kat candy bar just to use the bathroom (I only bring this up because you can only use the “toilet” in Spain if you buy something). Somehow we had already made it to the Monte de Goza aka mount joy. I was ecstatic! Santiago was in sight. My joy would soon end when I realized I still had over 45 minutes of hiking.
We kept up our pace; the end was too sweet and close for my normal stride. We finally made it to old town, the original area of the walled city where the cathedral is located. I finally caught glimpse of my target, and a slight tear came to my eyes. I found myself weaving in and out of plazas and alleys. We heard bagpipes in the distance. They were playing in an ancient hall. We surpassed the hall, and there it was, the cathedral. Everyone hugged, a few cried, and then we all collapsed on the ground. For the first time I sat and realized, I just walked over 200 miles. I felt amazing. One day it’ll be time to do it all over again…