Today I met a fellow Texan on the Camino. She is 73 years old and is a fellow missionary to South Africa. She is walking with her friend, a professional dancer from Poland, and they are trying to raise money and awareness for their mission work.
We got a chance to exchange stories, laugh together and even shed a few tears together. She shared with me her first day when she arrived in Roncesvalles. You might remember from my post that the trail section to Roncevalles was a rough day for everyone. She said that she almost got to Roncesvalles when she said to her friend "I'm going down". Her knees gave out and she landed on the ground . With the help of a big, muscle-bound emergency care worker and a lot of effort, he was able to lift her off her feet and drop her into the floor of his SUV. When he did, he said, "That's a heavy woman" . We were laughing hysterically as she told the story! She is a great story teller.
Since that day, she has been pacing herself and has been doing well. She is a good example that age is not a limiting factor to walking the Camino. I have met many people past retirement age that are walking and doing better than many of the younger ones on the Camino.
I also had a breakdown on the trail today while sitting alone reading my devotional. I don't know how long I sat there today, but I ended up having a great talk and cry with God. I think that was what I needed today to help me to go into the final 100 miles of the trek. As of tonight, we are within 80 miles of Santiago and should finish up on Saturday - Laurie's and my 28th wedding anniversary.
The natural beauty today was fantastic. Today on the trail, I saw a chestnut tree that is estimated to be around 800 years old. This tree has been alive for almost as long as this pilgrimage has existed. It has seen a lot of pilgrims pass here. Lot's of history.
Tonight we are staying in Triacastela. We will walk to Sarria tomorrow, and then head in to our last big push. Less than a week away.