Peter is 20km from Santiago de Compostela, and is looking forward to reaching his destination tomorrow. He and his new friends Hedwig and Connie will be staying in a hostel, rather than an albergue, which means that they don’t have to be indoors by 9pm – they can go into the city and have a proper Spanish dinner, instead of chicken or boiled fish with chips or potatoes. On Thursday he will go to the Pilgrims’ Mass at the Cathedral, and sort out his paperwork. He flies back to the UK on Friday morning.
Peter’s friend Paul, who walked with him for the first part of the Camino, sent Eileen and I this message:
When Peter and I were talking about his past experiences on the Camino, his enthusiasm and tales became very infectious. He explained about the challenge set to him by his friend Tony, and I expressed an interest in joining him; I must admit at first probably not expecting Peter to take me seriously, thankfully he did. Over many a beer I found my self being more and more fascinated by the thought.
Peter did warn me that the Camino had a habit of grabbing hold of you, which at the time I didn’t take too seriously, I was looking forward to joining one of my best friends on a boys’ adventure, which in the end turned into memories that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. Yes, Peter was right, it does get hold of you; so much so that I am now making plans to return to complete my pilgrimage to St James, for reasons that I don’t pretend to fully understand, all I know is that it’s something I have to do. Maybe it’s the lovely people that you meet along the way of which there were many, all nationalities, religious beliefs and social backgrounds all getting on together. Or it may be the fact that the experience presents you with the opportunity to have quality time, to realise what things are most important and precious to you.
Peter is now very close to completing his pilgrimage and I wish I were there, to complete it with him, but for me that’s for another day. I will be forever grateful for the time that I spent with him on the trail, a time that turned out to be far more precious than I could of imagined.
Thank you Paul, Eileen and I really appreciate you walking with Peter, and we wish you all the best for your Camino in the future.
Paul also sent some photos of the early part of the trip, many thanks!
Many thanks to all who have donated, your generosity is very much appreciated by Peter, Eileen, Kath and I, and we know British Heart Foundation and Severn Hospice will appreciate it very much.