Photography, Travel, Walking

Hola! Hola! Santiago de Compostela – El Camino Day 25

We made it!

600kms walked

We awoke early, had breakfast and set out to walk the last 10kms of the Camino. As we were staying at a hotel near the airport it made sense for us to leave our bags at the hotel and pick them up on our way through to the airport. Our flight was scheduled for later that day. I’m glad we did that as the cathedral would not allow backpacks in for the pilgrims Mass we attended at midday.

It was very overcast as we set out. It had rained through the night so very damp underfoot too.

Mixed feelings I had today as we were walking the last stage of the walk. In one way I was looking forward to it and the other regret as the walk and time I had was coming to a close. The weather wasn’t helping all that much either.

The walk was mostly humdrum to be honest and as I said the weather didn’t really help either. The rain started too. It wasn’t a particularly scenic walk and it was without fanfare or any sense of a grand entrance.

A memorial to JPII. Looks a bit USSR to me.
We could see Santiago now
The path into Santiago
Raining quite steadily now

It was interesting walking through the streets of Santiago to find the cathedral. It was nowhere to be seen on the city skyline. If I was honest it was the most unglamorous entry into a town having just completed an epic journey. It is what it is I suppose.

The walk kept going and going. We were wondering if we were ever going to get there. In fact the more we came closer the less and less we saw the Camino arrows. We got to a point where we had no idea where to go and a beggar pointed us down the right street. Totally unusual that we could trek 600kms without getting lost but in Santiago the signs seemed to peter out and we weren’t sure where to go.

We had the privilege of experiencing the Botafumeiro at the Cathedral of St James, Santiago de Compostela. Apparently they only do it on certain days and we were lucky enough to be there for one of them. 😀

I’ve completed the Camino! Yay!
I’ve completed the Camino! Yay!

We found ourselves asking a man playing bagpipes as to where the pilgrims passport office was as there were once again no signs pointing it out anywhere. We got the final stamp and certificates which I will post up in another blog entry.

To top things off we went into the cathedral to attend the pilgrims Mass and found everything roped off. Everywhere there were seats was cordoned off and no access was allowed. Totally weird. We tried to get into a section and were told off by a very angry security guard. I’d never seen anything like it, so much anger. Quite upsetting. Anyway we walked around to another part of the church where we found another security guard who was obliging and let us sit for Mass.

So to sum up an interesting day. Not what I was expecting, perhaps a little let down and anti-climax but in no way did it hamper my enjoyment and experience I had doing the Camino.

For a map and stats of today’s walk you’ll find them here.

Buen Camino. 😊

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