Pistachios are the quintessential pilgrim food, I've decided. I excitedly purchased some from the supermarket a few days ago and have been munching as I've walked these last 68 miles. They are challenging to eat because you have to break the outer shell and worm the nut out like a sunflower seed (but harder). They have a great after-taste and can be addicting. Pistachios are perfect for the Camino because you have to work really hard for only a small gain. Every time I reach the actual nut part and get to eat, I say excitedly, "Pistachio!" because it feels like something to be celebrated.
While we've been walking the Camino, it's been hard to keep in mind that we're not traveling very far each day, though it definitely feels like we're taking the country by storm. The other morning, we were debating what the weather would be like when we got a weather app to tell us. One pilgrim's response was, "Yea, that's what the weather's like here, but what about where we're going?" Of course, we were only about nine miles away from where we started that day, so the weather is pretty universal. As hard as our walking each day is, we're only making small gains for it.
As Dr. Gonzales has quoted about 600 times now, the great Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter never said it better: "You're going to be miserable, but you'll be happy about it!"
We've been miserable, but very happy about it these last 7 days of walking, and as we walked into Santiago today, it felt like an enormous accomplishment. I know I couldn't have made it this far without the support of my fellow pilgrims. Santiago feels like a giant pistachio moment, so congrats to us all for making these small gains and coming so far.