Day 15: Ride Me Down Easy

"Hey ride me down easy Lord, ride me on down
Leave word in the dust where I lay
Say I'm easy come, easy go
Easy to love when I stay"
-Waylon Jennings

What a great day. It’s my last night on The Way and tomorrow is the finish line! Hope to catch the noon pilgrim mass tomorrow in Santiago where they bless those that walked the distance. I am in Lavacolle at an Albergue with my new friends Simon and Claudia, both from Frankfurt Germany, and Yu a sweet Christian girl from China that currently resides in Australia.

Had an odd morning to say the least. Got up at 4 am after going to bed at 1:30 am. Made it to the Estación de autobuses by 4:45 am for my bus to Lugo. Had to catch another bus from Lugo, on a different bus line, to Azurea so I can start the second to the last days hike.

At the bus station in Lugo, I had an unexpected layover of 2 hours. It seems my next bus wasn’t coming till 9:30. Here I encountered a Jedi. Some drunkard at the cafe decided we should be friends. After getting my coffee, I walked to my table. He kept patting the opposite side of his table to motion me to sit across from him. “No gracious”, I said a dozen + times. He decided to bring his beer, smell and intellect over and sit with yours truly. I must have told him veinte times, “I no hablo español”. He sat down and touched my brain and his brain at the same time and spoke gibberish. He then begin to look at me with that “eye” that resembles the Larry David stare when he is trying to decide if he trust someone’s statement. This drunkard proceeded to appear to try and connect with me on some linear-time travel-mystic brain wave that he apparently mistakenly thought I would comprehend in lieu of “no hablo español”! After twenty minutes of this horse hockey, I told him I have to catch my bus. I went and checked my bag and was going to investigate Lugo for an hour to avoid this lunatic. I walked outside and the fog was so thick I couldn’t see my foot!

Went back to cafe and Darth Vader was gone. I drank another coffee, got on my bus and proceeded to Aruzea to start my final kilometers. Pulled into Aruzea about 11:15 am. Bought an authentic Camino walking stick and, well, walked!

I bought a wooden walking stick with St. James face on it and started down the road. Felt like the first day because I apparently, once again, lost “my way”! After 3 kilometers I was back on path. I intended to walk alone ( cue the Green Day song) as I wasn’t sure if this was my last walking day. I still needed time with my wife’s memories. “Only thinking the good times, hard to believe it’s really the end. Until one glad morning, at Heaven’s gates I’ll kiss you again”, I kept singing to myself all morning through a heavy heart. I really needed some time to air some more tears out. Really, eternity is probably not enough time.

At 1 pm I ate. At 1:30, I met Lucas from Poland and John from the Czech Republic. They appeared to be walking towards me like they lost something. When I pulled my ear plugs out to ask if they lost something, they said “no. we are walking the Camino backwards as we have already been to Santiago”. They proceeded to ask if I would look at their jewelry they made to see if I wanted some”. Donations only if you do!”. I am a sucker and bought 20 euros worth for gifts.

The walk today was like an episode of Groundhog Day set to the backdrop of the newest Robin Hood movie, as it was the same scenery over and over and over and over and over and over again at every turn! Really! I’m kidding because today was a beautiful walk in great weather while I contemplated what it will be like moving forward at home.

After walking alone 2/3rd’s of the day, I stopped to talk to some folks I passed and got passed by several times. I am really glad I did. I met Simon who is from Germany (26) and he is a pilot for Lufthansa. I also met his friend Claudia (26) who is a stewardess for the same airline. Great people and I am sooo glad we connected this evening. They had also made friends with an accountant from Australia, via China, who is on a year sabbatical, Yu.

We journeyed to the outskirts of Santiago to Lavancolle. We found two private rooms and had a tremendous dinner together along with great conversation. I definitely intend on staying in touch with these guys/girls. Great subjects of conversation were had tonight!

After a day in Santiago tomorrow, I will fly to Paris Monday for two days and fly home to face reality Thursday.

I pray I have found “My Way” and that the path in front of me is sustainable. As stated many times, I will not shed my final tear ever for the love of my life. I am very thankful for all she did, does and will continue to do for my life. The love affair is far from over.

I love you sweetheart. Buenas noches mi ángel

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