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Camino + Clue

My cycle app does this new thing I’m not a fan of. As soon as I click open the app, all of a sudden it states in big red letters: "Your period is 5 days late!" Before it would be a gentle: "Cycle Day 29". Even though I had no reason to worry, I worried. Of course I did! Red letters, exclamation mark, my period is late.

Even though the app is called Clue, it clearly has no clue about the differences in lifestyle, temperature, exercise between the start and end of this cycle. I don’t track these things, so of course it doesn’t know I have been hiking in the mountains for 3 weeks straight, wearing sweaters and layers to stay warm in the cool hours of morning and afternoon.

I never told Clue I walked for about 7 hours every day, climbing up and down, drinking in this deliciously pure mountain air, smelling every single flower on my path, talking for hours on end with old and new friends, sleeping in shared dorms for the full 3 weeks, often being woken up by excessive snoring coming from all different corners of the room.

Those few weeks seemed to contain an entire lifetime. It was a perfect moment in time that felt like 5 minutes and 5 years all at once. I find it hard to believe we got on the train from Santiago back to Valencia only 10 days ago. From nature to city, cold to heat, a routine of waking up and walking, following shells to our daily destination and eventually to what is known as the climax of the Camino: Santiago de Compostella.

I kept a daily journal. Not my usual morning pages, as the mornings were for packing backpacks, quick breakfast and getting out to start hiking as early as possible. Writing was a part of the evening ritual. When we arrived at the albergue, showered, made our beds, bought groceries, did stretches and journalled. There was no space to write blogs, I quite liked being a bit more disconnected.

Coming home, my dear friend Linda who walked the Camino with me, stayed in Valencia for a week to explore this gorgeous city. So I was out and about, falling in love with Valencia more every day, savouring the special time together with my friend who lives on the other side of the globe.

Then, the app told me my period was late and honestly it was hard to focus on anything else. Until - perfectly on time - my period arrived last night and I felt my entire body and mind relax. This is what was needed to flip my laptop open and finally start writing again. Thanks for your patience! I’m back, baby (without baby).

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