Walking East Journal

Jan 2010 27

Adios Portugal

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One month after beginning our pilgrimage walk in Portugal we sit in Valencia ready to walk our of Portugal and into Spain. We left Lisbon on 27 December after resting ten days there.
Portugal has not been totally friendly. It has often been a test of our wills to continue. Rain, mud, water, cold hotel rooms, mildew permeated our passage north. Only in the past week has the sun forced its way through the clouds to give us a warmer welcome. We suffered various minor sicknesses and I thought of quitting after our first day of walking when the rain was so heavy and our hotel room was frigid and its ceramic walls were wet from condensation. So many hotel and pension rooms were unheated before we arrived and only heated with a space heater as we occupied them; they never really warmed up.
The cold and dampness taught us to go slowly and choose our steps well, to take our time, to rest, to take a bus or train now and then, to observe and walk with the weather. We have done so and now sit on the Spanish border. Like Missouri last June, Portugal has tested our wills to continue. We have passed the test and are moving forward. We feel great.
Even more than before, we walk in the Now. We appreciate Now. We celebrate each step and breath as if it were our firs–or last. Life is what we have No–not tomorrow, not yesterday.
Santiago is only a week to the north. Tomorrow we take our first steps that way. Here we come Spain.

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