Day 34 (June 13) Arzua to O Pedrouzo (12 miles)

It was so nice to walk in the sunshine today and to be on the trail alone with my thoughts for a while. I am trying to prepare myself for my arrival in Santiago tomorrow. Things I am focused on now are:

How do I feel about this walk ending?

Did I find the answers I was seeking?

What will I do differently when I return?

I am beginning to formulate answers in my mind and will try to develop conclusions over the next few days. This is hard work, but well-fueled by the motion of my feet.

I know that the Cathedral in Santiago is a busy place, but when I get there, I want to find a quiet spot to pray. Of course, I can pray anywhere, but at the end of this trek along the Way of St. James, it seems especially important to be there.

My prayer time during this trip has brought me closer to Sam. On our last trip together, Iceland in 2015, Sam told me that when he was stressed, he would meditate and pray. I thought about the order he specified. Meditate to calm the body and clear the mind. Then pray to talk to God. When we had that conversation, I was laying at the foot of his bed, where he had been napping. He was trying to help me relax from the stress of managing the details of our three-generation family vacation. That is one of my favorite memories, Sam giving me advice.

When Sam’s substance use problems first became apparent, I developed some anxiety, not just about him, but a generalized anxiety I had never known before. I was always the plunge right in, tell everyone how to do it person, who never looked back. Afterward, I felt vulnerable somehow, started letting things bother me. I am trying to use this time on the Camino to implant Sam’s advice about stress management and, I think it’s working. Not once on this trip have I worried about plans gone awry or stressed about what’s ahead.

After my thoughtful, spiritual morning, I ran into Marcela, the Columbian WonderWoman, who had bounced back from another injury.

We ran across the Peregrina (female pilgrim) Beer rest stop and, guess what, it was time for a break.

She told me many things about Columbia, her country, and I will say it changed my view. I have never been there, but for some reason, I had thought of it as a very slow paced country. Not Marcela’s Columbia, where the kids go to school at 6 am, offices open at 7 and the work week is 48 hours long.

We had a great lunch and said goodbye for the day, walking to our separate destinations for the evening, (Marcela on an ankle that was swollen double in size.) I ended up in an old mill turned creepy, ramshackle hotel. There were only four of us in the dining room. I miss my noisy, crowded albergues.

Tomorrow is the grand finale! Time for rest.

23 thoughts on “Day 34 (June 13) Arzua to O Pedrouzo (12 miles)

  1. I am eager to hear more about your “old mill” accommodations. I know you will find the perfect spot to meditate and pray when you arrive in Santiago. Peace friend.

  2. Praying for a wonderful arrival day for you with meditation and prayer. Love Sam’s advice to you!

  3. Listening is a great skill, especially to yourself. It sounds as though you have reached deep within your soul and now are ready to live your life accordingly with a renewed spiritual sense of insight and compassion. Reaching Santiago will always be in your heart, as life moves forward. Sam would be so proud of you! A big hug to you!

  4. pat callaghan June 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I can imagine that after so many months of preparation, anticipation and trepidation…to be arriving at your grand finale feels premature. It’s like you want to press a “pause” button and say “hey…I need more time!” I’m betting you will recognize the changes to your heart and mind brought about by the Camino in small, precious moments for a long time. It will be nice to unwrap them one by one.
    I will think of you arriving at the finish line tomorrow!

  5. Philip c iglehart June 13, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Beautiful thoughts Trish
    Wishing you well

  6. I am with a close friend in England looking at Beautiful gardens . She has been to Santiago and the cathedral and has shared with that it is a rich place both inside the cathedral and outside full of people who are there for special reasons. Be in your space and be open too. Blessings , Meta

  7. Dear Trish,
    We have been following along here at the CU Collegiate Recovery Center in the midst of summer session classes. Just this week we have had five new students walk in seeking help. Three students are celebrating multiple years in recovery this month. They continue to walk the path of healing even as you walk yours.

    Sending strength as you walk the final steps to Santiago. And so much gratitude to all who are supporting you and donating to Sam’s scholarship fund. It will make such a huge difference in the lives of students here, more than any of us can can even predict.

    I love how you have been connecting with Sam all throughout the trek. He is with you now in this final stretch. And so are we.

    – The students and staff of the CU Collegiate Recovery Center

  8. Deborah Breide June 13, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your intensely personal journey. I am sad to see it end and will miss your daily reflections and beautiful pictures.

    Your experience certainly speaks to anyone who has lost a loved one, especially a child. I appreciate your brave effort to make sense of it all.

    We have so many fixed ideas about life. Your honesty and passion is admirable. I am sure you will continue to find your way. Sam will live forever in our hearts.

    Love, Deb

  9. Both Nancy and Pat have said what I was thinking after reading your post. I too believe your deep insights will continue to come, perhaps in small increments over time, and real listening is a learned skill – whether it is to someone else or to that voice from within.
    Love Sam’s advice. Meditation takes many forms, as does Prayer. That wisdom is as old as time, yet we all need to be reminded to make space in our lives for both.
    Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.
    Love, Carolie and Pokey

  10. While we have yet to meet, I admire your depth and vicariously your journey. Godspeed tomorrow and after.

  11. Buena suerte mi amiga!! Felizidades!

  12. Patty McGuigan June 14, 2018 at 12:49 am

    Never forget the power of prayer ! I try not to … tomorrow an exciting day for you and I thank you for sharing your journey with all of us … XX

  13. We have never met though I am a friend of John Carr who knows your husband. Your remarkable journey has been an inspiration to me. I have shared your blog with several friends who have also walked the Camino though only for several weeks, and they have really enjoyed your introspections. God bless you as you reach the final stretch of your journey and on to your next adventure in life. I cannot imagine what you have been through but it seems as if Sam has been by your side throughout this journey. Gail K

  14. Carry on carry on carry on…
    Love to the finish may yar path b Clare. Ok 😎😥😥😥😥
    Cousin Jeff

  15. Doreen Hansen June 14, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Today will be so special for the reasons you’ve bravely shared with your readers, some like me are total strangers to you. The endeavour and courage you found to achieve this long, demanding walk to help other young people in the future – only you truly know. This poem for children came to mind as you end your long and arduous walk for a very special cause in tribute to your son Sam:-
    ‘Not by the city bells that chime the hours I’ll tell this day,
    But by the bloom and fall of things in flowers, and the slow way
    Of cloud shadows, and swathing sunshine wrapping the gorse-gilt plain,
    And little lifted leaves, and water lapping, and maybe rain’ [Florence Harrison]
    Trish – go safely those last steps into Santiago – I am happy I found your blog and we have CU a link between us.

  16. Trish your humble words and sharing of this special memory with Sam are so dear and enlightening. He has been with you every step of this journey and you will forever be his strong resilient and loving mother💕

  17. WILLY (C'TOWN) June 14, 2018 at 11:37 am


  18. Just returned home from Tuscany to enjoy you last day on the Camino. Your blogs have been wonderful and especially meaningful to you and I am sure John and Henry. What a journey ! Looking for you back in the USA. Have a safe trip. Love ya.
    Aunt Vee

  19. Trish, thinking of you today (everyday over these past 35, really) and celebrating your courageous journey to Santiago! I hope you have found some of the answers you are searching for. Way to go Trish and thank you for sharing your adventure and thoughts with us! Jennifer & Michael

  20. Trish,

    You rock! We can’t wait to catch up with you, although I think I speak for a lot of people when I tell you that your blog has provided a journey for all of us.

    Your Sam sighting today was Sam himself. Always in your heart and soul.

    Good luck with your final leg.


  21. The finish line today and new beginnings tomorrow.
    Cannot wait to read about your final day and reaching Santiago.

  22. So good to see you Trish, what an experience you chose, I hope you find strength and peace as I remember back in the day.

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