Thursday, May 30, 2013

Santiago: Goal Accomplished!

Day 29. Portomarin

Day 30. Palas de Rei (REI)

Day 31.  Ribadiso

Day 32. O Pedrouzo


New country. Colombia

We are here!  Arrived in Santiago yesterday in a blowing rainstorm after a short 20 kilometer walk.  Seeing the grand cathedral was a welcome sight on the 33rd day of walking.

After staring at the church for a few minutes we went to the pilgrim center and received our Certificate of Compostela which is written in Latin. We then checked into our albergue,  ate a bite and gathered in the catdedral 's main plaza to meet and congratulate the other pilgrims as they arrived.  Many of them were old friends from recent days and some we hadn't   seen for days or weeks.  Dinner followed in a noisy restaurant and we fell into bed at 10 pm.

Today we went to the pilgrim mass at noon which was attended by a crowd of at least 1000 people. At the conclusion of the mass, the huge Botafumerio, a giant incense burner, was lit and swung in a long arch just like in the movie "The Way." It was an emotional ending to the gathering.

We plan to take a bus to Finisterra tomorrow and do some hiking there for a couple of days before returning to Santiago to catch a train to Madrid for the plane trip home on June 6.

We are excited in many ways to have completed the journey on the Camino , but also sad that it's over. It was a difficult walk with many hardships along the way, but the friendships and experiences made it all worth while.


  1. And now the Camino has become a place...or an event. The people you met...and didn't meet, but who were nevertheless there. The one who arrived the day before or the day after. All the albergues. The difficult days. The sun. The routine. You two did it. Good for you.

  2. Congratulations! We look forward to seeing you (and your travelogue at the library, eh?) later this month. We had a trip of our own last month, so we can trade stories. How is Ann's shingles case? Hope the early treatment was effective. Either way, you seem to have soldiered on!