Day 25 // Gonzar – Melide // 32 km

I still have something on my mind about yesterday. It is not about how many kilometers each of us are doing. I am not saying the people who do the full Camino are better than the people who do 100 kilometers. No. As I've mentioned before, I have met a lot of people who divide the full Camino in smaller pieces. And it is so fun to listen to their stories. It is so fun to wait for the next year to be back on the road again. 

But I think yesterday was just a bit of a culture shock for me. My way - my mistake. It was a mistake to stay the night in Sarria and to start my morning so late, that's why I ended up in the middle of a big crowd. It is about the culture too - 99% of the rock signs that have the kilometers on them since Sarria have just been taken.

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One of the signs even said “Stop stealing signs!”. The sides of the road and the forests quite often are full of trash people have left behind them. I remember us carrying our banana peels or empty bottles for 10 kilometers just to get them to a proper trash can. 

And also the yelling and disrespect of others. That's what I don't get. And it is not about the amount of kilometers. But everyone has their own path. And I will find (already did) a way how to avoid them. 

I saw my hairdresser in a dream tonight. Maybe it is because I haven't brushed my hair for 3 weeks or that the light hairs have faded. Or maybe it is because I decided to cut my hippie braid with a bit of my hair in it and leave it in Finisterre. I think I got the confirmation for that in my dream. Hi, Eddy! See you soon! 

For the first time in a while I get up really early and leave the auberge at 6.30 AM. It's dark so I can use my flashlight. There are about 3 houses and 8 barns in the village and I can't find any signs. I laugh at myself - Agnes, you can't find your way out of 3 pine trees. I look at the map, I am supposed to go to the road, but there are no signs. In a while I met a couple pilgrims that have checked out yesterday where they have to go. I learned how to do it in the big cities but I didn't think I would have to do it in the small villages. I was going the right way but the signs showed up a bit further. 

For the first time in a long time I saw a fog! I started to miss it. It's gliding over the road and through the trees and it looks amazing.

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I am happy to be alone again and to enjoy a calm morning. And I made a photo for you - I am doing fine!

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I think I'll never get tired of talking to the cows. They reply too. Sometimes.

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As I was passing a barn, the lady who owned it invited me inside. At least that was what I thought she said.

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Oh, I'm going to miss them when I'll be back in Riga. 

While I had my breakfast and had my conversations with the cows, Anete caught up with me despite leaving an hour later. We continue to walk together. 

When I entered a city I heard someone yell: “Hey! Latvia!”. That was a woman from Lithuania. We had a quick conversation and it turns out she's been doing 50-60 kilometers every day. If there is a reason to, you must do it. I didn't ask her reason. 

I found an ATM. I switched the language to English. And it said - after entering the PIN code press the yellow button, to confirm. But we all know that the yellow button is for erasing. Of course you have to press the green one! I guess the translator had been inspired by the yellow signs and messed up his colors. 

Remember this photo from my 2nd day of Camino? That was 24 days ago.

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Without the zero this number seems so different.

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We reached the final destination of the day for Anete. I had lunch. It was tasty!

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Anete is doing around 20 kilometers a day and today she did extra 3.5 km with me and she was super happy about it. We can all inspire each other here with notes, words, being there next to each other. And it really works. 

I read many inspiring messages today. Almost every pole had a great piece of wisdom on it. I saw one message and I stopped and I realized I've entered autumn. Spain, you're so different.

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My path leads me through the forests. And they're like tunnels of blessings in which you can hide from the sun. They're so gorgeous. Some places the branches are bent and have made arches. I guess forests are the most beautiful thing about this part of Camino.

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I am thinking about the many practical things that Camino has taught me in these 3 weeks. I wasn't really the type of person who enjoyed long hikes. I've learned about my body, blisters, creams, how to organize a bag so it's comfortable to carry it, read the maps in the book and the little signs. It will all come in handy in the rest of my life. 

When I got to the auberge I got thinking about how it is not so hard to hike this past week. After 2 weeks of hiking my body has gotten used to it. Legs are barely hurting. I have almost no blisters. I don't feel like the bag is that heavy anymore. I haven't really been through a breaking point (I don't consider yesterday to be one). Am I doing something wrong? I thought I'd be bawling my eyes out. But I am at peace. And that's what I came here looking for. And I got tons of it. 

And now on to something new and fun! 

I met a married couple named Reino and Alice. Reino is on his 9th Camino. I listened to his stories. And he said that the path to Finisterre through Muxia is unbelievably beautiful. I had kind of forgotten about this idea since those are extra kilometers. But after my conversation with Reino I realized I should do it. The count of days will not change it will just be 114 kilometers instead of 87. I took a look at my friends Kiki's card that she gave me - “You can do anything!” Yes, I'm going! 

For inspiration:

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