Reflections…

We Did It

We Did It

Last Day of Rain

Last Day of Rain

It’s been a few days since our walk into Santiago and its taken this long to gather thoughts and contemplate what we have done.

Our last day started not too early, packing quietly thinking this is it… And it was only 5km away so it was merely a stroll for us… Like any big city we have walked into we did not see the gravel, dust, mud, at or pebble road to follow but the paved path snaking thru the modern outskirts if Santiago to the old city. Comfort was felt as the golden shells lead the way.

We will never forget that first glimpse of the cathedral spire that came into view on one street. Butterflies came in my stomach, this is it!

Trekking closer to the old streets, the uncanny sound of a bagpipe echo’d in the tunnel that lead to the cathedral plaza – can it get any melodramatic!

Cathedral

Cathedral

WOW what a beautiful sight. The Santiago Cathedral was looming over the plaza. Bathed in the morning sun. Each pilgrim (including us) took there own moment to take in their feat. Whether you started in St Jean, Pamplona, Logroño, León, Ponferadda, or Sierra you finish here at Saint James home.

802km from where we started we stopped walking. Thru it all, sore feet, aching legs, blisters, band aids, tired shoulders, no beds, falls, getting lost, getting bitten, lack of sleep, no sleep, snoring, the SOL, rain, cold, never ending roads, too high hills, boots, socks and sandals, searching for wifi, searching for beds, 4am movements, 5am alarms, monks, nuns, curfews & bunk beds.. The doubt, the tears, the laughter, the friends and joys and fun we made it!

Yes we did.

Bags Bags

Bags Bags

From holy chickens, to the singing VonTrap family we have seen a lot and made some lasting memories. New friends and family are forever in our hearts and many countries to explore with plenty of free accommodation 😉

Thou we are not sure how the Camino has changed us – we are sure it has.

We spent a lot of time at the cathedral that morning watching pilgrims come in – taking photos with bags, without bags, bags above heads in triumph, bikes above heads too! Lots of cheering, laughter and tears all around.

What was even better was seeing familiar faces again! So good to see Emilie waving hello! Benz big smile high fives all round. Our American crew had arrived people we didn’t think we would see again we could – thanks Camino :)

Reach the City Outskirts

Reach the City Outskirts

Collecting our last stamp and certificate was the next step, and the line full of pilgrims slowly filtered thru the office, what is your name, where did you start, why did you walk? With a stamp and a pen we got our official paperwork – going to frame that baby when we’re home!

The pilgrims mass was at 12noon and that was another occasion to add to the never forget moments, early to church (yes it can be done) we were able to see St. James tomb and statute to touch – with gold, jewels and shells it was a proud moment. The swinging incense at the end of the service was very very awesome – you should see it.

Now came the celebrating!! One things pilgrims can do well :) Kilo of steak, peppers, vino and Troy, Alex, Patrick, Kristen, Benz, Jamie, Liz & Christina we had fun! And that was just lunch!

elebrating

Celebrating

Meeting back at the cathedral (the only logical place to meet) at 7 for round two we found Emilie, Victor & Victoria! Celebrating till the wee hours of the morning was fun and a fitting way to end.

The next day started with a trip to the Cathedral (just making sure it was still there…) had a very overpriced lunch with Jim, Alex, Ralph & Emanuel (good to see Ralph survived the night) hearing Jim’s stories of Finisterre, didn’t make us disappointed about not having the time to get there – as there is always the chance to get there one day….

Reflecting back over the past five and a half weeks I am so proud of what we have achieve. Yes I know those who read this are too, but I am so damn proud of Ally – such and honour to have had this journey with her. She tells me the same. Pilgrims for life.

Incense

Incense

We also want to say that although you are not physically on this journey with us, you have all been in our thoughts along the way (cheering us on) and we hope that these blogs have entertained you and given you comfort (families) that we are alive and well (most of the time) and also made you consider doing something amazing in your own life too… Do it – anything is possible.

To our Camino family that have joined us along the way, and that have helped made this journey AMAZING we hope to see you again in Holland, Germany, France, Italy, America, Hungry, Ireland, Poland, Austria, Latvia, Slovenia, Spain (again), England, Greece, , New Zealand & of course Australia and lets not forget Nepal soon!

So for last time we bid you
Buen Camino

Last Shell

Last Shell

Cathedral

The Cathedral

 

 

Comments

  1. Amazing!!! Awesome effort xxxxxx

  2. Tracey Spencer says:

    Congratulations Kell & Ally – we are so proud of you, what you have endured/achieved and I have enjoyed taking the journey with you (from the comfort of my warm home). Enjoy a well earned rest now and see you at home xxx

  3. Great Reading Ladies, how wonderful is Technology sharing your journey, “consider doing something amazing in your own life too… Do it – anything is possible”. Love it! This is SO True Thank you for your Inspiration- Obviously been a Life changing experience you two Ladies will never forget and you will be wiser because of what you achieved,who you met and what you both shared along the way..Good on You Kell and Ally..Barbx

  4. Congratulations! I would love to do something similar for my Camino walk next year. I’ve been thinking about it for about a month and today I found your website. How long did you plan your fundraising events before you started? How long did you fund raise before your walk? I don’t have any experience in fundraising.

    • Hi Shari,
      Thanks for the message. I’m glad you found our website. Ally and I were just chatting the other day about our trip and how amazing it was!
      We planned this for about 12 months before we left and fundraised from 9 months out. Ally and I started our own charity and we both come from a sales background so had a lot of contacts and people to ask and called in favours for help :)
      Always ask for help it makes it a lot easier… Check out the website http://www.mycause.com.au it is a good place to start and see what you have to do.
      If you have any questions feel free to email us at thechicks@chickswalkforacause.com.au
      I can’t recommend the Camino enough! I loved every minute of it even though some days I was hating on it.. It is an amazing experience and is the best and hardest thing I’ve done in my life so far.

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