Day 32 I took it easy in Santiago. Wandered around, took some photos, did my blog posts.
Day 33, Sunday, I handed back the towel to Balazs. It was the first time I'd seen him since that morning 30 days ago when he left Pamplona, and I stayed back, nursing a knee the size of a football. Wrapped in Balazs' towel, with ice.
I had walked hard the last 10 days to get there in time to hand him back his towel. (He's leaving first thing in the morning.)
It was emotional. He never thought I would make it.
Later, we were joined by Rosa and Lazlo. It was the four of us that shared a cab from Biarritz Airport to St. Jean on April 9th, an eternity ago. We hadn't all been together since.
The Camino engenders such strong friendships, and emotions. We'd all been through so much since that taxi ride.
We then all went to the Pilgrims' Mass, and as we were jockeying for a position in the crowded Cathedral, I saw a South Korean couple – mother and daughter – that I hadn't seen in weeks.
The last they'd seen of me, it was west of Burgos and I was in great pain and struggling kilometre after kilometre.
The daughter, Nayoung, pushed her way through the crowds to come over and speak to me. Amazed, she said: You made it. You took bus?
I laughed and said no, I never took a bus or taxi. I walked every step of the way. And then she burst into tears, and hugged me.
At the end of the Mass, they swung the Botafumero.
Later, we theTaxi Four all went to lunch in a small local eatery, and we allowed ourselves the indulgence of saying that we'd achieved something…
And I felt happy. I felt really happy.