Santiago de Compostela ~ Tears of Joy

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Camino de Santiago
Day 34 of our Adventure: WALK!!
CAMINO Day 25
Thursday October 5, 2017

25km / 15 miles / 5 hours
Total Ascent: 1000 ft.
Total Descent: 1200 ft.
Difficulty Rating: Terrain 2; Waymarking 1
Scenery Rating: 2

O Pino to Santiago de Compostela

We’ve arrived!! We left Rúa at 7 AM, an hour and a half before dawn, hoping that we’d get to Santiago in time to get our credentials stamped and make it to the 12:00 noon Mass. HA! The walk was much longer than we expected; and we were traveling at break-neck speed ~ in spite of the hills, our empty stomachs, and no caffeine before we started.

The sight of the Cathedral, the throngs of peregrinos arriving in the Plaza, the enormity of what we accomplished, what tens of thousands of people before us had accomplished, was overwhelming. We took it all in for a few moments, and then tried to figure out what to do first. It was obvious that we were too late for the Mass, so we checked into our hotel, the Parador de Santiago de Compostela. We stayed here in 2003, but I don’t remember our room being this luxurious. I was emotional enough, and I almost wept for joy when we stepped into our room. Our accommodations for most of our trip were very comfortable, but this place… well, let’s just say that we made the right decision to stay here for 3 nights.

Once we dropped off our backpacks we asked for help to find the office of credentials. We got on a very long line that started outside and wound through the halls of the building. We heard that the wait was 2 hours. If only…. Turned out to be more than 2 and a half, but people were in happy spirits, and we befriended Peter, a very tall Hungarian man, who seemed to enjoy practicing his English. As we were leaving, a young woman asked us about our Camino, specifically what our favorite part was. I said seeing my family in El Pais Vasco, and arriving here in Santiago. And then I started to cry. (Still…..)

After we finished the “business” part of our journey, we went to grab a bite to eat and to drink a glass of wine, unpacked our suitcases, took showers, and walked around Santiago. We mistakenly thought that the evening Mass was at 5:30, but it turned out to be 7:30, and we had already made reservations for dinner at a fabulous restaurant, A Horta d’Obradoiro. We’ll go to Mass tomorrow night, now that we know what to expect (the lines for the noon service were insane… we’ll get there really early!).

Mike took pictures of his shoes next to the ones that he DIDN’T use on the Camino. These are the exact same shoe ~ one pair with almost 500 miles of wear, the other with maybe 20 miles. And then he put them outside, where they belong.

We also took a picture of our “helpers” along the Way: Honey Zingers gel and chews for instant energy, salt sticks for electrolytes and to prevent dehydration, Kinesiology tape (which was a godsend on my knees!), IsaGenix e+ energy shots and vitamins, Ibuprofen, Arbonne skin conditioning oil, a SkyRoam hotspot, and Compeed blister solutions. I had to dispose of my ankle braces because they finally fell apart; otherwise they would be in the picture as well.

On our way back from dinner we ran into some of our fellow travelers: 2 guys from southern Spain, and a young lady from Russia. We saw them almost every day on the Camino Primitivo, and I wasn’t really surprised to see them in Santiago even though they finished the day before.

Looking forward to the rest of our time here in Santiago de Compostela!!

4 thoughts on “Santiago de Compostela ~ Tears of Joy

  1. Congrats!!! What an experience. I’m glad you’ve arrived because I was starting to feel like a sloth 😉 I’m sure you’ll miss the smell of those cows. Enjoy your accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankfully we walked through lovely eucalyptus groves the last few days. A few cows, but not quite as many. I told Mike that I wished we’d kept track of how many cow pastures we passed each day. Not my favorite part!!

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  2. Recommend a tapas place called O Bispo I believe. We asked the waiter to pick for us and it was wonderful. I think I remember the name correctly.

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