It’s hard to believe that today marks two weeks since beginning walking the Camino. It has definitely had its challenges, as well as its rewards. Today was very much both.

We set off around 7:30 this morning to head out of Astorga. After carefully navigating around what looked like the end of a bar confrontation right before the police were called, (including bloody faces and a broken beer bottle in the assailants hands), we made our way out of town.

The walk today was a short one in mileage, only 13 miles, but a gradual uphill climb almost the entire way. We met up with an American couple and walked almost all day with them. We stopped for lunch at a “Cowboy Bar” that was just awesome. One of the people I was walking with picked up the guitar at the bar and played the guitar and sang while everyone else ate. We had a bit of an impromptu singalong, and even the owner of the bar came out to listen and enjoy the music.

We continued on our way and finally made it to the destination in the early afternoon. The Albergue that I am staying at is an English run Albergue which is run by volunteers and by donation. At 4:30, they had an afternoon tea which was really pleasant. About 90% of the pilgrims here tonight are actually Americans, so I felt quite at home!

Unfortunately, in the evening the days walk caught up to me. My feet ached! The original blister that caused me to lose 5 days was back and throbbing as it had before. I took some time to address it and am hoping that I was able to catch it in time, that it will go away, and that I will be able to complete my walk. Fortunately, I do still have a small buffer, so I can afford another rest day in order to heal. I just didn’t want to have to take it so soon after starting walking again. I am going to see how I feel in the morning and assess if it is going to be a rest day or not.

I went to Vespers and Mass tonight, and I realized that one of the things that I definitely needed to learn on this trip was about my pride and expectations. I was so proud and I admit, somewhat boastful about this trip and the distances that I was going to walk, and things have not gone as I expected. Expectations can sometimes lead to disappointment, especially when things don’t go how you envisioned them. It was a bit heartbreaking to buy the ticket on the bus and watch the trail that I wasn’t walking on. But I know that it was what I needed to do. Do I still want to complete the Camino? Absolutely. I just know that it won’t be completed the way I expected it to. How often have I set myself up for disappointment by expecting things to turn out one way when they didn’t. Instead, I should have been happy for having the opportunity to do such amazing things. Every disappointment is a learning opportunity that helps to prepare and shape us for our future that lies ahead. Never stop learning from your setbacks. Never let them stop you from moving forward, even if it is at a slower pace.