Muxia and an Ideal Camino Closing

2015-10-07 JS JM silhoutte

2015-10-07 Muxia

2015-10-07 JS Muxia church

Since switching to the insulin pen, all has gone smoothly!

After switching to the insulin pen, all has gone smoothly!

After a quick morning bus ride, we were able to take in our final day on the Spanish coast! Muxia exceeded our expectations with a beautiful harbor area, path along the water, and a monumental hill on one end of the town with expansive ocean views.

It was early afternoon as we found ourselves clambering to the top of aforementioned hill. We sat on the rocky outcrop with the sun beating down on us and a mild wind swishing our hair about our faces. For an hour we sat in this way–no other people in sight, no noise, just sitting and watching the white capped water crash against rocks and move through the bay. Both of us took a deep breath and realized that this moment felt like the end of the Camino. Not when we got off the trail, not when we were scurrying from pharmacy to health center to pharmacy, but here and now as we sat in the quiet and took in the fact that we had just walked the length of a country, from end to end.

After all the diabetes “adventures” along the trail, Jeanie cruised through our final afternoon of cafe chit-chat with steady levels. Since obtaining the insulin pen needles yesterday at the Finisterre city health center, Jeanie has been right on track with her blood glucose. It has been awhile since she has had to self-calculate her insulin dosages, but it has helped to be in a more predictable setting without the high physical strain of 20+ mile days on the trail! As afternoon turned to evening, we headed back to the road that traced the coastline, and passed by a historical church right near the water’s edge. Muxia is famous for its iconic sunsets, and we sat on a wall looking out at the water from first pastel tinges until the sky grew darker, the colors deeper, and then finally gave way to the grey black of night.

The next day we would begin the bustle of taxis, trains, and planes that would bring us home. Life as we knew it before the Camino would begin again, but as Jeanie likes to say, part of the magic will be taking the Camino home with us. It may not look like eight hours of walking a day, but Jeanie is even more motivated to continue speaking messages of encouragement into the lives of individuals affected by diabetes, to remind people that life is as big as they make it, and sometimes that includes walking across a country with type 1 diabetes.

Thank you so much for joining on our journey, your support and encouragement has meant the world to both of us! For further information regarding travel and diabetes, please visit http://www.DiabetesTravel.org, our recently released information and resource site. If you would like to support this specific initiative you can do so by donating at the Sansum.org homepage and indicating “T1D Trekking” in the field titled “in honor of.”

Thanks for following us all the way to the coast! It has been a pleasure to have you along!

Thanks for following us all the way to the coast, it has been a pleasure to have you along!

Advertisements

Needle in a Haystack = Needle in Spain

After our 2nd skeptical visit to the city's health center, we finally came away with needles!

On our 4th location attempt, we finally came away with needles!

Then it was time for the beach, with a now fully functional insulin pen!

Then it was time for the beach, with a now fully functional insulin pen!

We didn't know the moon could be THAT full!

Night time in Finisterre brought one of the fullest moons we had ever seen!  

We enjoyed breakfast at our hostel before heading out to find the city’s health center. We were hoping everything would work out, as the insulin Jeanie had left was now definitely running low.

We found the spot the pharmacy woman had indicated on the map, but it appeared to be a lonely old building lacking the bustle we expected for the city’s main health center. Hmmm . . . A woman came walking down the stairs and I inquired if she knew where the health center was. She informed us it was a few floors higher of the same building. We took off up the stairs, where I was reassured to see a sign that read “Centro de Salud.” “Are you sure?” Jeanie asked uneasily, her skeptical inflection communicating more than her words. We were standing in a heavily graffitied entryway with a single scratched up dark glass door. We entered and waited our turn to speak with the ladies behind the counter.

Before leaving in the morning I had reviewed translations for any specialized terminology we anticipated needing in order to communicate our needs as clearly as possible. When you are not fluent in the host country’s language, this can be a helpful strategy! Being able to explain the needle part of the insulin pen was the main concept we would need this morning. After I explained our situation, the lady told us we should go to a pharmacy to purchase the needles. We told her we were at a pharmacy yesterday who told us we needed to come here for needles. She acted surprised and asked what pharmacy that was before then giving us directions to a different nearby pharmacy where we should go.

We went up the street and soon found the glowing green cross indicating a pharmacy. We went inside, explained our situation again and were met with a similar response: no needles. We were getting a little frustrated now and inquired how a pharmacy could sell the pens and not carry the needles! The pens are completely useless if there is no way for the insulin to get from the pen into a person’s body! The pharmacy sent us back to the health center, and so we headed back on our 4th attempt for obtaining needles. We went back and, when the woman saw that we were not leaving without the supplies we needed, she complied and began filling out a form. She asked for Jeanie’s insurance and we inquired as to what the cost would be. She said she did not know, but we were in no position to refuse as the needles were essential to using the pens that would get Jeanie through the end of the trip.

She then gave Jeanie two different forms to sign, both exclusively in Spanish. Jeanie looks at me, points out that she has no idea what she is signing, and then swishes a quick signature across the bottom of each page. After more shuffling of papers we were directed to a room where a nurse would meet us. We moved towards the room where a woman in white coat handed us a relatively large box of needles. Jeanie took them and opened one to ensure that it was what she would need before we left the building. We asked if there was any way we could purchase a smaller quantity of needles, or even have a mere 1-2 to get us through the end of the trip. The woman replied no, being sure not to break her somewhat cold demeanor. We decided to test our luck and asked if she had any idea how much the box would cost. She responded that she had no idea and then left the room.

Well, clearly our interpersonal skills were out of the ballpark today. We headed back out, determined to enjoy our day on the coastline despite the diabetes quandaries that had taken the majority of our thought energy over the last 24 hours. After a day in the city of Muxia tomorrow, we will begin the journey back to our home coastland in southern California!

Trail Angels and the End of the World

We found the water!!

We found the water!!

2015-10-07 Finisterre 3

We loved Finisterre's abundance of colorful shops, and doors!

We loved Finisterre’s abundance of colorful shops, and doors!

As we left off yesterday, Jeanie and I decided to move forward along the trail, hoping to find a town and a way back to Negreira that would be quicker than the 3 hour hike back. After a short bit of hiking we saw a car whizz by on a road ahead. We made our way up but it was clear this rural road did not receive much traffic, let alone taxis.

I eventually flagged down a delivery truck man who informed me there were no nearby towns, and even the towns on the route wouldn’t have taxis. I asked if he could call one for us, and he agreed!! We had found just the Spanish trail angel we were looking for! He spent a good few minutes describing our arbitrary location to the man on the line, and then left.

Ten minutes later and we had our taxi to Negreira! After doing a quick mental calculation, we realized that by the time we found insulin we would be out of the running to make it to the coast by foot. We spent the next hours figuring out buses, and by evening we had made it to Finisterre!

After arriving, we found accommodations and headed out to look for a pharmacy. We eventually came to one that was open, and inquired inside about insulin. Jeanie’s prescription was written for insulin pens, but she was hoping to purchase a vial from which to do her manual shots. The minor difference in her prescription and what we wanted was the only potential obstacle we foresaw, and it seemed minor enough.

We asked the woman at the counter about the insulin in stock and she informed us that she could give us insulin pens. I reasoned with her and explained our situation and that a vial would be the most ideal. But then she said it wasn’t because of the prescription, it was that they only carried insulin pens, no vials. Jeanie said ok and checked the box, telling me she would also need needles. I asked the woman and she said we would need to go to the city’s health center in order to obtain needles, that they are not sold in the local pharmacies. It seemed a little odd, but she was very clear, and we thanked her for her time and left. We had the pens but would have to wait until the health center opened the following morning in order to obtain the needles that would render the insulin pens functional. We were putting our insulin supply to the test . . .

We headed back to our hostel, not missing the irony that we were ending our diabetes dysfunction day in a city historically known as “the end of the world,” but I guess even the Camino has a sense of humor sometimes! We will check in with you soon to let you know how our quest for needles turns out tomorrow!

Pods and Patience out the Window

Early sunrise as we departed from Negreira

Early sunrise as we departed from Negreira

Jeanie preserving her supply of insulin by taking insulin back out of a dysfunctional pod

Jeanie preserving her supply of insulin by taking insulin back out of a dysfunctional pod

We left Santiago with three more days of hiking mapped out to make it to the coast. All went smoothly on our first day to Negreira, but our second day unraveled a bit to leave us in a crunch.

Jeanie had started the morning low, but was trying to hold out for coffee and a real breakfast item before resorting to morning Oreos. But when no coffee shop was awake, and we were flashlighting our way through the woods with Jeanie persisting low, we decided a real stop was in order.

We plopped on the side of the trail and watched the morning crowd pass us by as Jeanie dug out a few rice cakes and slices of cheese, mentally telling herself to let her levels recover instead of racing ahead. After some chatting with other pilgrims, we reorganized our packs, strapped them on, and started walking. A mere ten seconds later, a steady alarm sound went off. Jeanie turned and looked at me, clearly ready to chuck all diabetes equipment into the sea, if there had been one available.

“My pod!” Her frustration was more than warranted, as we have been dealing with malfunctioning and questionable pods for the last week and a half now. With the pods going out early, we had recently checked to see if we were even going to have enough to make it through the end of the trip. Jeanie re-tallied again to make sure. Yes, thanks to packing nearly double what she had anticipating needing, we would have enough.

“But Jeanie, what about the insulin?” I asked. She had packed a generous amount of insulin, but had been filling every replacement pod with a full amount, which was then lost when discarding the pod. She may have had enough to fill the pod at present, but if she had to keep filling faulty pods, it crossed my mind we might soon be out! She looked at me, a look of concern on her face. She went through her insulin supply. “You’re right,” she said “I am going to have to switch to shots.” At this point we took our packs off and started taking inventory.

We went through her supply of long and short acting insulin, pods, and syringes and tried to find her paper of instructions detailing how to switch to a manual shot system if her pump malfunctioned. She could not find the paper, and was hoping she hadn’t accidentally put in the pack she had sent home earlier in the trip.

I had a copy in my bag, which I pulled out and took pictures of with both our phones. If you are traveling with diabetes, it can be very helpful to have a buddy carrying copies of all necessary medical documents! Jeanie later found her paper, but the copy was able to help us out when we needed it the first few days. During those days when we had one copy, the pictures on the phone were a way to immediately “copy” the paper again, so that we would never be limited to one source. Having the image on the phone also keeps it readily accessible, and in a format where it is easy to send to someone if that becomes necessary as a reference for doctors you are interacting with at home or abroad.

We would need more insulin, but due to not filling the last pod, we would have enough to get through a day or two. “Can you take insulin back out of a pod?” I asked Jeanie out of curiosity, realizing we still had the malfunctioned pod which she had inserted full of insulin only a day prior. “I never have, but I think you can!” She said, looking surprised. “Let’s think how to do this” . . . She took a syringe out of her bag and poked through the insertion hole of the pod she had just removed, slowly she drew back the plunger and the clear insulin began filling the syringe! Yes! Our supply had just increased. Jeanie did not put the withdrawn insulin into her existing vial, so that she would not risk contaminating the only available insulin she had. We had no empty vial, so Jeanie put the cap back on the syringe and we thought through the most secure way we could store it. She came up with the genius idea of using the hard cardboard tube which we had received to store our pilgrim’s certificate form. She dropped in the syringe and we started repacking our strewn about items.

As we walked we talked through different scenarios and action plans and, within 30 minutes, Jeanie made the decision that it was not smart to continue. When all factors were considered, Jeanie was using a manual shot system which she hadn’t used in years, with a different type of insulin than she had used in years, and we were on a very low populated trail, in the woods, with few towns, possibly without pharmacies, and we were looking at a few strenuous 20+ mile days. Remember when I talked about the fine line between adventure and foolishness? Well, we were crossing it. We decided it would be the smartest decision to go back to Negreira and try to find insulin.

The only issue was that we were in the middle of the woods, didn’t have a map for this section of the trail, and only knew what everyone had told us, that there weren’t many towns along the way. We teeter tottered between going further and going back . . . we moved forward. Check in with us soon to hear how our insulin hunt continued!

Camino Day 29: Santiago!

image

Jeanie was a happy trekker knowing than Santiago was mere hours away!

Jeanie was a happy trekker knowing than Santiago was mere hours away!

Our first glimpse of the city outskirts!

Our first glimpse of the city outskirts!

An hour later, and we had found the cathedral!

An hour later, and we had found the cathedral!

From any angle, it is a stunning view

From any angle, it is a stunning view

We arrived early in the main plaza

We arrived early in the main plaza

Today we woke with eagerness, lathered our toes with Vaseline one final time, and slipped on our shoes as little clouds of trail dust emitted with the pulling tight of our laces. It was a Santiago day! The culmination of our efforts over the last month.

As we set out we were surprised that there were not yet many travelers on the road. We were escorted through our morning miles by a pink streaked sky casting more and more light onto the surrounding towns and our excited faces!

We made our first glimpse of Santiago an hour in, but knew we were only on the fringes of what our maps promised was a very large city. We wound towards the landmark cathedral, recognizing an increasing ratio of people who looked somewhat like us with weighty packs and walking sticks or poles. After another hour we had reached the area surrounding the cathedral. A bagpiper played in the final archway and we strolled into the plaza not yet golden by sun’s glow. We craned our gaze upward, tracing the lines of the ornate cathedral over and over again.

Where do you start and what do you stare at when faced with a building so magnificent? And not only so large, not only architecturally remarkable, but also so meaning laden and spiritually sought after. It is an amazing place to be. Fellow trekkers lay in the plaza, packs strewn on the ground as convenient back rests or pillows. Locals strolled through with small children in carriages and other tourists in non-trekking clothes buzzed around their group guide migrating from landmark to landmark. We stood breathing it all in, the accomplishment and the joy and the discovery of what this trail has meant to each of us.

500 miles complete. 500 miles of hills, hostels, night hikes, and map interpretation. 500 miles of meter readings, Dexcom buzzes, fighting the odds, and explaining to many pilgrims the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 500 miles of cookies through the night to maintain glucose levels, and of pushing through high mileage even on low energy days. 500 miles of triumph of will. All these realities came swooshing back to compose a culminating mosaic of memory as we faced the cathedral.

We stood in line to receive our official certificate which verifies the distance we have walked and in what amount of time. We took in the travel buzz surrounding the city as we ate ice cream and discussed routes for the next few days (as we planned to complete the trail all the way to the coast).

We will keep you updated on our Santiago discoveries, and how the final days of our travels wrap up!

Camino Day 28: Semi Trucks and Sunrise Luck

We started day 28 in Arzúa

We started day 28 in Arzúa

And continued until reaching Labacolla, we are so close!

And continued until reaching Labacolla. We are so close!

This highway was our accidental path for the first part of the morning

This highway was our accidental path for the first part of the morning

But we did get to witness an amazing sunrise!!

But we did get to witness an amazing sunrise!!

image

image

We opened the morning with a treacherous few miles along a highway. What would morning be without our daily dose of semi-trucks?! (Just kidding). We debated over the location of our turnoff, before coming to the general consensus that, no matter where it was, we had missed it. We weren’t sure whether to move forward or back, and ended up locating a spot further on the map where the trail supposedly crossed the highway again.

We continued on for another 20 to 30 minutes and, after waddling a 50 yard stretch while straddling a drainage ditch, we were able to drop over the edge of the highway onto the pathway which crossed the road via tunnel. As we plopped onto the trail from above, imagining a more graceful entrance than we probably made, we brushed off the bewildered stares of other hikers and instead chose to celebrate with long whoops of joy!

We continued on, ecstatic to be on the trail again, witnessing a stunning sunrise, and within a day of our final destination of Santiago! Every marker counting down the kilometers sent shivers of joy along our spines.

As afternoon hit, we found our hostel, showered, and went out for our customary early dinner, and then made our customary empty-stomached return, everywhere telling us that they would not open to serve dinner until 8. Hours, and possibly decades later, 8 o’ clock arrived and we enjoyed an awesome dinner with two other travelers from the US. We enjoyed conversation into the evening and now only have a quick 6 miles in the morning to cruise into Santiago!! After the last 28 days, we can’t believe we will be entering our destination city. In many ways it feels like our departure was so long ago, maybe in part because of the physical distance from which we left St. Jean last month. Our minds are buzzing with thoughts and excitement and the unknown of what this journey will continue to mean. But for now the part we do know is that tomorrow is Santiago, and for now, that is enough.

Camino Day 27: Palas de Rei to Arzúa

We started our day in Palas de Rei

We started our day in Palas de Rei and continued to Arzúa, a town early in the following day’s route

image

This was one of our favorite signs from along the way "If you really want to do something you will find a way, if you don't then you will find an excuse." Jeanie has definitely found a way!

This was one of our favorite signs from along the way “If you really want to do something you will find a way, if you don’t then you will find an excuse.” Jeanie has definitely found a way!

Dropping the packs for a quick ten minutes can do wonders for the shoulders!

Dropping the packs for a quick ten minutes can do wonders for the shoulders!

Jeanie woke up this morning feeling a world of difference from yesterday! Which was a good thing as our 15 mile day extended to 19 before reaching a tourist information center that was able to help us find available accommodations. The only hitch was that we would have to walk through the large city and along a highway for a short bit in order to arrive. We were desperate enough that we agreed and were on our way.

We received one of the last rooms and dragged our bodies and bags up to the top floor. We found ourselves in a little room with a low slanted rooftop our host repeatedly warned us not to hit our heads on. So we went ducking about our room for the next few hours, organizing our items and assessing our food supply.

We soon learned the shower lacked both a shower head holder and quality curtain, which led to a very wet bathroom and mainroom floor. We laughed at our wet little hobbit hole accommodations and debated whether or not we were really going to trek back into the main town for dinner, or sit in our room snacking on corn nuts for the night instead. It was a toss up, but we decided heading back for some protein was probably a better option. We set out with the ginger steps of a long day, back along the highway, up the hill, and towards the town. Just as we entered, Jeanie groans “oh noooo.” Her PDM had been left on the bed of our forlorn little hostel!

“Alright,” I said, “let’s go get it.”
“No way are we going back. I just won’t eat carbs!” She answered (her PDM manages the insulin delivered to account for the carbs she eats).
“Dude, come onnnn. We are going back” I said, in my most diabetically professional tone.

After a standoff of two very stubborn people, and a return trip to the hotel, we set out again, laughing at our own jokes and cursing tourist information centers for their distressing partner locations (miles away from city centers). Jeanie told me about other times she has forgotten necessary items, and how she has had to adapt on the road. With diabetes, she always needs to plan and prepare far more than the average person. A small mistake isn’t the difference between going without some comfort or amenity, but truly affects her safety and the experience as a whole. It can be tempting to still move forward and “make the best of things.” But safety is always a necessary priority over convenience, both at home and abroad!

Eventually, a protein filled dinner and some market cookies had us feeling in better spirits, and we are now only a few days from Santiago! We will check in with you soon, we are so appreciative of your support in this journey!

Camino Day 26: Portomarín to Palas de Rei

image

The trail has become much more crowded since leaving Sarria and passing the 100 kilometer marker!

The trail has become much more crowded since leaving Sarria and passing the 100 kilometer marker!

With the crowds sometimes comes unique forms of entertainment, such as this bagpiper playing along the path!

With the crowds sometimes comes unique forms of entertainment, such as this bagpiper playing along the path!

image

After putting in some strong morning miles, we decided to call it a day in Palas de Rei. After the tourist information lady told us about the available accommodations, Jeanie looked at me to translate. I looked back at her, “Jeanie, it was in English.” We both laughed, realizing that for whatever reason today wasn’t calling for extra mileage, but probably a nap instead. Jeanie’s cat and mouse game from yesterday had continued through the night, and after it started raining on the trail, we were convinced it was the right call for the day.

Since we have left Sarria, there has been an influx of travelers who have joined the Camino, as it is a common practice to hike the last 100 kilometers into Santiago. The trails have been more crowded, a bit noisy, and while it can make for fun conversations it is also a bit overwhelming compared to earlier days of empty miles for as far as the eye can see. We are confident that a nap, dinner, and a full nights sleep will do the trick to get Jeanie back and ready to take on the trail with her usual energy!

Camino Day 25: Cat, Mouse, and Cows

Today we made the rare decision to stick to our guide from start to finish! We began in Sarria and ended in Portomarin.

Today we made the rare decision to stick to our guide from start to finish! We began in Sarria and ended in Portomarin.

Sarria bade us a stunning sunrise farewell!

Sarria bade us a stunning sunrise farewell!

Sometimes we get to walk part of the day with cows! Something a little different than hiking in our hometown Santa Barbara hills!

Sometimes we walk part of the day with cows, something a little different than hiking in our hometown Santa Barbara hills!

Today we passed a marker indicating we are only 100 kilometers from Santiago!

Today we passed a marker indicating we are only 100 kilometers from Santiago!

A majestic bridge welcomed us into the hillside city of Portomarin

A majestic bridge welcomed us into the hillside city of Portomarin

Today was a shorter day, and we were so ready for it! We are usually able to alternate our long and short days to some degree, but sometimes we run into unanticipated situations (such as the last few days) that make for a challenging back-to-back scenario. This being so, we took the pace a step back today and tried to listen to our bodies well.

This was especially challenging for Jeanie as her body seemed to be telling her many different things! In terms of blood glucose levels, today felt a bit like a cat and mouse game with Jeanie’s ideal range perpetually dodging around the corner. Her levels would be low, she would eat something, and her blood glucose wouldn’t change. Then she would eat something else and then skyrocket with Dexcom arrows indicating that her levels were not only high, but still on the rise.

She would give bolus insulin, and her levels wouldn’t move. She would give a little more and still no change. She would be as patient as possible, waiting for it kick in, sometimes having to give a little more, and then boom, she would be low with Dexcom arrows pointed straight down. Jeanie was not enjoying the game, but kept a great attitude and did her best to keep a clear mind so that she could properly address her body’s needs.

After we found a place and got cleaned up, Jeanie’s levels were stubbornly high. And so, after a full day of walking, we took to the streets to “walk her levels lower.” As soon as it was low enough for her to feel comfortable, we rushed to get some food in our systems while in a good zone. It is amazing the extra obstacles Jeanie has worked through to make this hike a reality. It isn’t always easy, but it is part of her journey here that she is generously sharing with others to raise both awareness and understanding of what is possible with diabetes. Hopefully a good nights sleep will do the trick to get us through whatever the trails brings tomorrow!

Camino Day 24: Unintentional Night Hikes

Our evening hike took us to Alto do Poio

Our evening hike took us to Alto do Poio

The next morning we completed the rest of that day's route and continued on to Sarria.

The next morning we completed the rest of that day’s route and continued on to Sarria.

We found a place to stay just as the sun cast a final glow over the mountains. Such a relief!

We found a place to stay just as the sun cast a final glow over the mountains. Such a relief!

More amazing views met us in the morning!

More amazing views met us in the morning!

We had plenty of green today, and loved every moment!

We had plenty of green today, and loved every moment!

This is how we both felt at the end of completing three days' routes in two days!

This is how we both felt at the end of completing three days’ routes in two days!

Well, it would be fair to say that last night turned out a bit different than we anticipated! As we headed back out into town for dinner, showered and rejuvenated, we met a few fellow travelers we had passed earlier in the day. They had already been struggling and now had no place to stay, so Jeanie jumped into action.

We asked the lady at our hostel if they could have our beds. She said no . . . so then we did it anyway. Whatever happened would happen, whether this albergue overseer wanted to be a part of the Camino spirit or not!

There was no way we were putting on our wet sweaty clothes again, so it was this combination of events that led to us slinging our packs on, in our pajamas, and taking to the highway to walk another quick 30 minutes to the next town. We arrived in good spirits and were informed there was no room and no other places in the town.

We looked at each other with the all knowing “Seriously?!” expression, and then hit the trail again, looking at another 30 minutes. Of all days to not have the Dexcom!! We had taken on so many hills during the day, Jeanie’s levels having a roller coaster ride of their own without the help of the Dexcom buzz telling her when she was high or low! It was a huge challenge, and now we were walking through the brisk evening air without a place to stay and with Jeanie going high once more from stress, but without much energy without having had dinner.

We arrived at the next town with four different options for accommodations. All full. Crickey! We asked some cow steering ladies if they knew of another place. They said the next town should have something. Jeanie was hesitant. My mind did a quick calculation contemplating at what point we would be crossing the adventure threshold and heading towards stupidity. Taxi or no taxi, taxi or no taxi . . . We decided to go on.

As the evening cooled, we raced to arrive at our final destination before the sun hid behind the final hills for night. I kept nervously glancing at Jeanie, looking for signs of highs or lows (dfficult to distinguish when being tired, sweaty, and hungry are often our typical afternoon sentiments).

We were now two hours into our “its thirty minutes, don’t worry about it!” jaunt down the hill. Our pajamas were thoroughly soaked with sweat and we dramatically crested the final uphill. A group of wine sipping, cleaned-up pilgrims sat in outdoor chairs watching the sunset as we made our startling and barbaric entrance. “There had better be a bed for me here in this town!” Jeanie announced to the crowd. A few people in the crowd laughed and lightened the moment by offering to share their rooms if there wasn’t one. Now there was the Camino spirit we had been looking for!

After all this, we spent the night and headed out this morning, not sure how far we would make it through our mapped out day! Due to a serious lack of intermediate accommodations, we somehow transported our bodies all the way to Sarria. The good news in Sarria was that we had wifi for the first time in two days and we’re finally able to contact Dexcom.

Their representative texted us back right away and informed us how to do a manual reset of the Dexcom by pushing a paper clip into a small hole on the back and holding it there for ten seconds. We gave shouts and cheers when the screen lit up and all reset according to plan! Our bodies are exhausted but spirits are looking up. We plan to be in Santiago later this week, where we will be taking a rest day before making our journey home!