This post was meant to be a body appreciation one. Despite the heat and the mountains, the rain and the blisters, a heavy pack and hard, rocky ground, my body has carried me 500km.
Thank you to my knees, who have not given out. Thank you to my ankles – I know you didn’t like the boots, and I’m glad we agreed on sandals instead. To my feet, you two are legends. Seriously. If it wasn’t for you I’d be sitting on my butt somewhere. And my legs.. You babes are my favourite. You ladies get the team all working together and keep putting one in front of the other regardless of the pain I put you through. Body, you are amazing. I’m sorry I don’t tell you that enough, and get embarrassed about the lumps and wobbly bits that make you you. You are a marvellous creation and I love you.
I also love the Creator.
He is who I am most appreciative of today.
I spent all day with Jesus. We walked and talked, I sang, I prayed, I listened. It was a brilliant day. It was a long one – in the past three days I’ve walked just about 120km, and 48km of those were today alone, but I did it with my best friend so was a good one.
I have a theory that the second cafe in a town is always better than the first, so they are the ones I always stop in. Too many people stop at the first; I reckon they don’t work as hard on quality or service because they get people in there regardless, and so far it’s worked out pretty well for me.
I was praying about which albergue I should go to, because usually I just go where the pack goes; I’m the one who is adamantly against having a guide book and just trust the opinions and wishes of the majority. Plus, a bed is a bed, right? I was never expecting first class for this trip, so no worries if it means we sleep on mats on the floor, or in an old renovated church that creaks with the wind. It just adds to the richness of the adventure anyway!
God tends to shrug His shoulders at me a lot (and roll His eyes, and laugh at me.. He’s great! 😂), and I felt Him shrug and say, if I generally go to the second cafe, why not stick with my theory and go to the second albergue I see?
This was all well and good to agree to at the time, but a ways down the road after my phone died and I had already walked 47km that day (with 38 and 36km respectively in the days before that), I was leaning toward stumbling into the first place I found!
I didn’t, though.
I kept walking and thinking about food – man, KFC would hit the spot just perfectly! And I neeeed a bed. I’m tired. I don’t know if I can make it. This glorious body is shutting down and had it for the day.
I walked past the first albergue reluctantly, but followed that inner voice that reminded me to go to the second one.
A kilometre or two later, I saw a tiny picture of what looked like two figures walking, which is the general symbol for peregrinos (pilgrims) along the Way. Each step brought me a little closer and I prayed so flipping hard there’d be a bed in there! It was already past 7PM, and I was doing my best to block out any thoughts of all beds being taken.
I could finally make out the most beautiful words: ‘Albergue Hostel’. And then I scanned right, and realised all over again how much God cares for ALL my hopes and desires.
I was slightly worried this place would charge me a fortune, because it was so glorious – even rated a pretty good 9.1 on tripadvisor, with full air conditioning, individual shower/toilets, two dozen spare beds to choose from (I got a whole tucked away corner to myself!), and no necessary check out time. But it was a standard 10€.
The second one is always the best.
So thank you once again body. Hope you enjoyed that crunchy, greasy chicken burger goodness and salty fries treat. Let’s be honest… You deserved it, you good thing.
I also love KFC. Just saying.