12 April 2016
Today I arrived to Santiago de Compostela, after walking for 32 days on the Camino de Santiago through the northern regions of your country – through Navarre, La Rioja, Castilla y León, and Galicia. I’m overcome with gratitude for the kindness and hospitality you have shown me. I doubt that words can express the gratitude and joy I’m feeling, but I’ll try.
Thank you to each person who leaned out of your window or looked up from your yard work to point me in the correct direction. Thank you to the hospitaleros who welcomed me after a long day’s walk with a smile or a cup of tea. Thank you to the priests who said a special benediction for pilgrims walking west, a benediction that brought tears to my eyes each time I heard it. Thank you to each person who stopped to speak to me, asking me where I was from, where I started the Camino, and how many kilometers on average I walked each day. And thank you especially to each person who smiled, honked, waved, or offered that special blessing, “Buen Camino.” To me, those words were a constant prayer, a wish for safety as I completed my pilgrimage, a wish for a good journey. Each time I heard those two words, I felt as though all of Spain were giving me un abrazo grande. Each time I heard those two words, it was a reminder that I was, indeed, having a buen camino, a wonderful walk across your beautiful country. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Muchas gracias.