Mary and Leila’s Camino de Santiago – a lifelong friendship
Leila sent us this lovely story about her trip to San Sebastián one year ago with her friend Mary, who will always have a special place in her heart. This is the beatiful story Leila has sent to us:
"Last September, my friend Mary and I spent three wonderful days in San Sebastian. We had always promised ourselves we would walk the Camino de Santiago, but had never quite made it.
In April 2013, Mary was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. She initially responded well to treatment, but the cancer was proving more difficult to keep at bay. In the summer last year, we decided to book a short holiday, in which we could at least attempt a small stretch of the Camino. We booked a Friendly Rentals’ apartment, from which we had beautiful views over Ondarreta beach.
It was an idyllic weekend. We woke on a Saturday morning to beautiful sunshine, and set off to walk along the beach to the far end of La Concha bay, paddling in the warm waters as we went. We breathed in the sea air, and drank coffee on the edges of the old town as we watched the people go by, and listened to live Basque music floating up from further down the street.
On Sunday, we set off and managed two hours’ walking from the edges of town, along the Camino de Santiago (admittedly, it was in the wrong direction – heading back towards France, but that’s a minor detail!). From the cliff tops, we looked back down over the magnificent bays, and chatted to some French Basque visitors who took our photo in front of the symbolic signpost!
It felt like a real achievement, and a significant milestone in our twenty-five year friendship. It’s a holiday that will always be stamped on my memory, because it was the last holiday I had with my dear friend, who sadly died in February this year.
This September, I’m planning to return to San Sebastian, this time with Mary’s husband, John, and my husband Mick, to remember Mary and her significant walk."
Thanks for sharing your story with us! We hope your next trip to San Sebastián brings with it happy memories and good times.