Well here we are in Bilbao, Spain with only one day left of our trip. It is nearly over and I must begin to turn this wanderlust heart towards home in a weeks time. Already my heart is saddened at the thought of leaving such a beautiful country and people. I and the rest of this small tour group have walked miles through sun, heat, humidity, rain, and wind. We have journeyed by sea, up mountains and down the other side, through rural pastoral settings, vineyards, and awe inspiring vistas. This trip has been so different from last year. A year ago on the Camino I brought three rocks which represented burdens I carried and left them at poignant places enroute; this a sign of laying everything down before God. I carried one rock with me this time, a rock with peace written on it; one I collected with a friend while at a retreat center. I still have it and it will be returning home with me next week. You see, I carried no burdens this year, I came with a peaceful heart and I am leaving full, satisfied, utterly at peace. I have journeyed onwards with wonderful people and family. Last year I questioned where God was as he and I struggled through hurts and disappointments. This time he was my companion, and everywhere I looked I encountered him. Every greeting, “Hola, buenas dias! Kaixo, Egun on!” Each time a thank you was said, “Gracias! Eskerrik asko! Bai! Bai!” And again in the eyes and smiles of all I encountered.
As I write my last post, I want to thank all those who have taken the time to read and view the pictures, in essence participating with us as we have travelled. May Rick and I find you with us again in the fall as we endeavor to take a cross-country trip through Canada and the US. For now, enjoy today’s pictures, along with tomorrow’s post solely of Bilbao pictures.
To Jason, Sol, and Fresco Tours, thank you for the hospitality you have shown us in your country. You have been gracious and patient with all, even when we have been tired and cranky. You have tried to answer every question, and have ventured to supply every desire or whim we had. You have been excellent hosts and I know that lifelong friendships were made. To Marco, Ann, and Aneta, what fun travelling companions you are! I have laughed till it hurts, enjoyed ridiculous ‘buggy’ conversations over dinner, and drank more than my share of wine in the company of connoisseurs. I am sure we covered every topic and story known to man. Together we moaned while trekking up mountains, only to stop with an ooh and aaah at the crest of a hill together when the scenery captured and stole our breaths. To Deb and Jill, I am so very glad you have journeyed along with Rick and I for this tour. You have personally made my trip more special because of the family bond and the memories we created together; memories which will be remembered for all of our days. Finally, to my husband Rick, you have blessed me richly by bringing dreams to life; giving them wings so to speak. I have experienced loving you pretty much all over the world. You are my heart and you fill me completely with your love. Thank you for this journey!
España, until we meet again, agur!