Always been on the right path – Day fourteen

Today I passed the railway station in the town of Fromista. For me a very significant place, as two years ago I got this far, and my Camino was suddenly over. All it took was a mental collision with a brick wall and a train ticket. Within three hours I was negotiating the subway system of Madrid, looking as lost as a newly arrived migrant from Latin America.

I started today from the village of Castrojeriz for the 25km hike to Fromista. It was a hot day and within half an hour I was tackling a brutal climb.

I couldn’t help but notice how many wooden crosses with faded photos were along the trail. I soon passed an older lady, who was puffing and panting way too heavily. It took a while, but I finished the rest of the climb with her.

I was with a girl from France and two from Ireland, as we strode the last 5km into Fromista. I passed the station and the memories of two years ago came flooding back. I could see a pilgrim waiting on the platform, looking a little lost and dejected. This was me in 2014. Back then I was a little lost, not totally convinced by my chosen path if life.

Today couldn’t be more different. My body and mind are in a better place. There is nothing like being happy in your own skin. I recommend it.

I had terrible hay fever today, as did many others, but it didn’t matter. Passing that railway station represented a new me. Someone who doesn’t quit so easy. Someone who no longer endlessly searches for meaning and direction. Someone who has more appreciation for the simple things. Someone who is very proud to be taking a slightly less trodden path in life.

I am now in an alburgue about 6km out of Fromista, making it a 30km day. The alburgue allows camping, so three of us have our tents up in their spacious grounds.

The mosquitoes were so thick in the air that the sun was almost obscured. My arms and legs have been eaten alive in the 10 minutes it took to put my tent up. I look and feel a mess.

All this doesn’t matter. I am almost half way to Santiago and every path, view and place from now on, will be new to my eyes. The mental battle has been won. Only physical breakdown can stop me now.

Doing a Camino will not be on many bucket lists, but if you feel you’ve maybe lost your way a little, or perhaps coming to a crossroads, then the Camino may provide more than just a nice tan.

Feet: Blisters have heeled, no issues leg wise.

Food: Same same really. Not much dinner due to excessive sneezing.

Feeling: On top of the World.