Day 20 // Foncebadon – Molinaseca// 23 km

We ended up waiting for the sunrise in the village where we spent the night, because the owner said we won't see anything at the top of the mountain because of the clouds. 

We woke up on time and spent at least an hour just watching the beauty. A beautiful pink line and thick clouds swimming from the mountains that look like smoke coming from a chimney. They're floating, wandering and going where they're supposed to.

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As we were leaving the village, we walked along a herd of sheep. We got harassed by them and they were not shy with trying to dig through our bags with their noses. I guess they're used to getting treats! 

But what would a great start of the day be without a selfie? This might be my favorite photo so far!

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After 2 kilometers we reach Cruz de Ferro. A very monumental location in the Camino de Santiago. The tradition of each pilgrim bringing a rock to the Cathedral started very early on when the Santiago Cathedral was still being built. It still happens now, pilgrims bring a rock from their home country and leave it there. I, of course, brought a rock too.

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They say that you must make a wish standing next to the cross. We spend at least an hour here. 

I pray. I say thank you. I cry. I write down the wishes on paper as well (just to be sure the wishes come true) and leave them there with the rock.

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The tears are falling down my cheeks, because I have no doubts about what I want. And I hope God will show me the right way.

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It got easy. It got very easy. As I walked I felt so light that I had forgotten I even had a bag on my shoulders. 

When we reach the village with a population of 1 (!), my attention immediately goes to this gorgeous “building”.

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What an absolutely authentic place. They let pilgrims stay here for donations. The toilet is outside and “shower” as well. There's music playing, the building smells weird, souvenirs are being sold and we also see a bunch of signs with the distance to cities/countries. 

Since I didn't find a sign that would say how far Latvia is, I decided to make one myself. And I also didn't have a flag to leave - so I drew it!

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Sasha had a couple of her country flags with her so she left one there. 

Inside the building I saw Artur from Belarus. My attention was caught by a bracelet. I bought it and asked Artur to put it on my hand and wish me something. He did it silently and I fully trusted him. Sasha did the same before and wished me a colorful Camino. I on the other hand put a necklace on her neck and told her in Latvian what I had coming out of my heart at that moment. And she will never know what I said, and I will never know what Artur wished me. But there's this unmeasurable trust between people on this journey. And it does not seem weird at all. There's inner peace and the feeling that there are no mean people here. 

We're still on the higher part of the mountain and the views are making us happy. It's different up there. It's calm up there. It's beautiful up there. You don't need people next to you up there. You and the nature - an absolutely perfect union.

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Thank you Spain for spoiling me!

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But the beautiful things in life don't come easy! A swift way down the hill starts. It's rocky. My feet and knees collect all their power to do this, because the way down is long and unpleasant. The pain is relieved with the beautiful views.

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We took a little break at the village and the guys decided they want my tattoos. Let's go! We put them on everyone. And while we did that I decided I wanted a new one for myself too.

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The pilgrims passing us on their bikes got a bit confused when I showed them my clenched fist! 

When we stood at the cross Gee left us to go to the hospital. She got an unpleasant allergic reaction from what the doctors said was an insect - probably bed bugs. She got these itchy bubble-like sores. But she'll be alright, the doctors suggested she wash all her clothes and her bag. 

People get many different kinds of “injuries” here. I'm thankful everyday for the fact that my body is being a champ. I feel practically no pain in my legs, the muscles consider this amount of pressure like an everyday thing now. Except, today my feet really hurt when we crossed the rocky road. I do have a couple sores from the sunburns. I can't cover everything. It's hard enough to be fully clothed while it's 30+ degrees outside. And the forecast says it will be around 38 degrees here the day after tomorrow. Hopefully that is not the case for the location I'll be at. 

As I reach the finish line for the day, we meet two Australians  - a 45 year old man and his 75 year old mother. I take my hat off to this woman - Elizabeth has been doing this journey on a great pace. 

It's hot. It is VERY HOT.

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I stop to take cover in the shadow and to wait for the others. A woman very joyously asked me if I was from Latvia because she saw the little flag I have on my bag. This woman and her son are from Lithuania. She was so happy to see me, it felt like we we're best friends who hadn't seen each other for 10 years. This gives me the strength to do my last kilometer. 

And today was the first day I had the thought of returning to the Camino pop into my head. 

For inspiration:

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Sending you my love!

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