Day 22 – Palas de Rei to Arzua (28.8km)

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Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean “I’ll miss you”, until we meet again – Unknown.

I’d like to dedicate today’s article to a family friend, Deon, who lost his battle to cancer this morning. Coupled with Deon, I’d also like to further add all fallen family and friends.

After a comfortable stay in the bustling city of Palas de Rei, we had breakfast and started our walk later in comparison to previous days. We walked for a while through the city and eventually found ourselves walking alongside the meadows and beautiful forest trails.

It had rained last night and the majority of today was overcast. It’s amazing how confused us human beings are; yesterday I was hot, wishing for cooler weather and today was the opposite!

Although we had a short and comfortable walk ahead of us today, our pace was extremely slow. We are both physically tired but the real reason was that reality was sinking in for both of us that this beautiful journey of the Camino was coming to an end. We will definitely leave something behind on this walk so that we can return to find it!

Although the weather was overcast, it was very humid but we were blessed with lots of shaded trails and a slight breeze. There were loads of pilgrims especially student pilgrims walking in large groups, singing and laughing.

We walked pass a couple where the husband was walking with crutches carrying a full backpack. You could see that his one leg was inferior to the other but the big smile on his face coupled with his pace was enough for me to shut up about my blisters and shin splints. This man was challenged physically but nothing was going to prevent him from completing the walk.

Just before lunch we were walking on a beautiful trail up on the mountain and as I was walking I looked down. I backtracked as I thought my eyes were deceiving me and behold a perfect image on the trail (see photos attached to this article). It was a leaf in the perfect shape of a heart staring straight at me! It was as if someone placed it there. Odette and I just looked at each other and smiled. You see and experience moments on this walk that just cannot be penned or photographed. God’s power and grace definitely prevails on this walk.

We had a late lunch in Ribadiso followed by a short walk to our final destination for the day, Arzua.

Tomorrow we make our way to our final destination, Santiago de Compestela. The walk will be 38km so it will be another long day on the trails. I cannot help but feel a bit of sadness as this walk has given us so much in every kind of way.

I will keep all fallen family and friends in my prayers and thoughts this evening and know that they are in God’s hands.

God bless

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