Greetings from Fatima, Portugal!
We made it to Fatima earlier this evening after a 7 hour bus ride from Santiago, and are now at the Blue Army's Domus Pacis Hotel.
The bus ride was long, but not too uncomfortable. The legs have been used to moving a little bit more, so there was a little soreness, but nothing major. It was crazy leaving Santiago--not so much in the sense of business and bustle, but just that even since our arrival on Thursday, time has flown.
It was great this morning though before heading to the bus station. We woke up early and tried to hit up a cafe for some caffeine and a croissant, but everything was closed. The Cathedral however was not, so we made it up there for one last time at the tomb of St. James and also for Mass. We saw a Korean girl at Mass who came up to us afterwards and asked if we remembered her. We met her on our first day of walking in the rain and wind a month ago. She told us today that she had remembered our request for prayers that day and she said she had been remembering us in prayer since then. Still kind of blows my mind! We didn't even get her name before she walked off with friends, but she will definitely be in my prayers.
We also had a mini reunion this morning with about 10 or so people we had started walking with or had met up with along the Camino. They were all in line or going to get in line to get their Pilgrim Compostela and then head into the Cathedral for Mass. Kind of bitter sweet looking back on it. For the most part, I will not see any of those folks until, hopefully, we are in Heaven together. Well, there was one last "Buen Camino", the callsign and greeting of all pilgrims, and then we were off to the bus station.
I don't have enough time right now to write about what I learned in the parting ways of all the camino friends and acquaintances, but it along with all the other lessons I learned was very special.
So, Fatima. We are going to the international Mass in the morning at 11am, so maybe a little bit of sleeping in is in store, but maybe not. Some of the more beautiful and intimate Masses usually happen in the Basilica early in the morning in the side chapels at the tombs of the shepherd children, so I may head down to one of those. Pray for good weather. It has been raining gatos and perros since we got here and it kind of slows you down a little. Anywho, I have brought all your prayers and intentions with me to Fatima, so be assured of my prayers while at this holy place. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Much Love.