Day 18: Camino del Norte

Mileage: 27.8

Total distance: 382.1

For the most part today was a solid day. I felt really strong and healthy and got a good amount of miles in while the sun was shining bright and the breeze was consistent and cool. I feel asleep last night in a beautiful overlook of Luarca after a long walk through some rich persons backyard and then scaling a sketchy bluff to get around their fence. It was crazy, but I ended up with beautiful views of the town and got to spend some time writing and thinking while the sun set over the bay. There was, however, a huge bummer at the end of the day. 

Trail was mediocre today. It was a lot of small roads far from the ocean and through small villages. I felt strong and that was the highlight of hiking. There were also some great hills for riding, but remembering those rides it’s a bit sad for me at this point in time. 

Today was my last day with the longboard. I made a stupid mistake and left my things unattended as I entered a hostel to sign in and when I came out it was gone. I couldn’t believe my eyes and immediately started walking around this town without any idea what I was doing, but just walked and held my hands on my head. This could not be happening. 

  • Train tracks around the edges of Luarca. 

I ventured back to the hostel trying to remain calm and asked a few people if they had seen anyone with it and no one had. My heart was racing and I felt rage growing inside of my chest and I began looking around for someone’s bike to steal as if I were now justified to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t steal anything, but knew I needed to find a place to calm down before I exploded. My emotions were definitely over the top, but they weren’t just from this one incident. I feel like this had been growing and growing over the course of the Camino. First the shoes and plantars fasciitis, then the sun cooking my legs, then losing my wallet, then shin splints and now this shit. I’ve been just taking things as they come and recognizing “lessons” in each things, but this seemed too much. I felt like God was picking on me. 

  • Clouds looking like the ocean. 

So I went to the beach behind the hostel, which was stupidly gorgeous, but I didn’t care, and I climbed a rock out in the middle of the water and when I got to the top it all came out. I began to scream. I yelled every profanity I knew. I cursed God and this trail and whatever “lessons” I’m being taught. I broke down, hard. I dropped to the ground and started crying wondering why I am here alone in Spain dealing with all of this shit. What was this all for?

  • My spot on the rock. 

I sat on that rock for an hour or so and in time I slowly calmed down. I realized that the world isn’t over and that no matter what happens I have the power to choose whatever life I want to live. I am free and not bound to one path or one story. I get to write it myself and do it how I please. I fully believe that there is a God who rests behind every fraction of my existence and these momentary struggles or pleasures in life are intended to lead me into something intentional and true. I found a lot of peace as I sat there trying to trust this situation and get out of my own plan and control. Once again, it all came down to control. You’d think I would have this figured out by now, but based on my reaction I clearly have not. In a strange way, I am thankful for these struggles and for the way I have been humbled by the damn Camino. I am not invincible, or insanely sturdy, or supremely intelligent. I have a lot to learn and my stubbornness makes those lessons really hard to get through, but they eventually do. 

  • The town I’m in tonight. 

I am currently sitting at a small cafe by the ocean watching birds fly and the sun fade into its amber hue while sinking into the Bay. I have around 120 miles left on this trail and four days to do it. My shin feels strong and my mind rests lightly in my ideas for the rest of this trail. I’m just gonna walk. I’m gonna wake up and see what happens. It’s weird how free I feel after what happened. Buying that longboard was really fun, but in a way it tied me to the trail again in a way that was binding and restricting because of my goal focused mentality. Now, I am once again in a place where I just don’t give a shit what happens and I’m going to wake up and go where I go. I rest in the wind and trust the guidance of the divine to ease me into a place of peace and joy in my heart and soul. Let’s see what happens. 

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