leaving the desert I thought we were going to hit flat lands since we're
getting closer and closer to the sea...but I was wrong. We hit another mountain
range; another mountain range that I did not know even existed. My map decided
not to tell me they were there...amateurs. But that's okay; it brought us more
scenery, by the end of our second day we got to this little town called Morella
and were totally surprised by its format. This town was inside a fortress with
a castle ruin on top of a mountain directly in the center. It was so awesome!
We were in so much awe that we decided to take a day off there. I mean,
seriously, who wouldn't stop at this town? It's right on our route! It would be
stupid of us to not enjoy it and explore the town and the castle. I have no
And, it was an amazing little town. We had so much fun there. I got to meet a
Romanian guy and his brother who moved here for work. I think that takes guts.
I was inspired by his determination.
later we stopped for lunch in a town called La Vall d'Alba, and we got a little
surprise. We noticed there was an abnormal amount of people in the streets so
we though it was some festival. No big deal. But what we didn't realize was
that they were having a "Running of the Bull" celebration and we got to see the
trail end of it! It was so cool! I would have jumped in there but I am too
close to the end and I don't want to risk having a huge hole in backside from
the bull's horn. I'd like to finish this week. But it was still awesome. I like
that tradition, its pretty baller.
to last day was when we finally saw the shore of the Mediterranean.
We got out of the mountain range and were about five miles from the shore by 6:00 PM. From Castellon (where we saw
the shore) all the way to Valencia
was non-stop city walking. I would say that Valencia is the "Miami" of Spain: cities all along the beach
with tons of hotels. Though, there were a few times that we walked through the
famous orange farms. These orange tree fields were endless, thousands of acres
of just orange trees. It was nuts. Too bad they weren't ripe yet or you better
believe I would have picked a few. It's kind of ironic that every orange I ate
on this trip had a sticker on it saying it was from Valencia, and my final destination
is exactly where those oranges came from.
three days weren't that bad at all. Though, we did a 55 kilometer day...yeah that
one hurt. We were just so ready to get there that we didn't want to stop. Not
much happened within those last three days by the beach. It was quite an easy
ending for this incredibly hard expedition. I was tingling when I got to the
beach in Valencia.
It was one of the most glorious and epic feelings in my life so far. I would
say that it battles the number one spot with graduating college. It's obviously
a completely different feeling and length of time, but still it felt so amazing
to finally be done. I don't have to experience the vulnerability, sleepless
nights, loneliness, exhaustion, or anxiety. But in the end it was all still
worth it. I'll keep my final thoughts for the "Final Thoughts" section below.
This was my first time to ever set foot in the Mediterranean
Sea. And I gotta say, it was incredibly clean and beautiful. Brett
and I swam, took pictures, and just relaxed for a few hours. Then we had our
celebratory dinner at Domino's! Woohoo! I know that sounds silly but I just
wanted a good ol' thick American pizza. And it was heaven. Now I get to finally
experience true rest again, physically and mentally; knowing that I never have
to get up early tomorrow morning and walk again. It's amazing how it changes
everything. I will get incredible sleep tonight. I can't believe I made it to
the end. God, it is because of you I made it here.
So here I
am, sitting...not walking, and trying to think about all the things I learned
from this leg of the expedition. That's a tough one because there were so many
things I learned about myself and about how life works. I could never go home
and forget what it was like out here. I remember going to camps, youth
conferences, mission trips, etc. but I don't remember a lot of it in detail.
But this, I will remember specific days, feelings, smells, people, and tastes
until the day I die. There was a bitter-sweet feeling to this entire journey.
From the beginning of it all way back in California
in January to now...my mind would explode if I thought about all that I just
experienced in the last 9 months. There were times that it hurt, times that I
was so lonely that I couldn't take it, and places and situations that were so
overwhelming that I felt so little. I felt unimportant and worthless. But I
realized that I did something so huge and so unimaginably difficult and yet it
was ultimately to try and provide the means for someone else, that I don't even
know, to have a richer and fuller life. And that is what kept me going all that
time. But I did see amazing things and met incredible people, and without that
it wouldn't have been as memorable. So I can look back and also remember the
grateful to the Holy Spirit for really showing me who I really am in every
situation, whether it be stressful, pressuring, tiring, or enjoyable. I thought
I was a pretty nice guy and easy going, but out here I got a little frustrated
and critical at times. And I just want to thank Stacey and Brett for putting up
with it. If I would have met someone just like me, I'd probably fight him. But
Stacey and Brett were kind, loving, and gentle and I will never forget their
mercy. They and Daren are some of the only people that I know that can testify
how hard and painful this was, and not just a joyride. Thank you so much Brett
and Stacey for doing this with me. You are the best and I will always be there
for you since you were there for me! I also want to thank everyone who
supported me financially, prayerfully, and just with messages of encouragement.
Everything that you all did proves that I could not have done this on my own,
so I will not be arrogant about this in any way. WE did it. And now we are
finally finished with this leg. But we still have a lot to go. But for now, I'm