Santiago de Compostela - destination reached, mission accomplished.
Oct 17, 2018
|Oh what a feeling! We did it, 200 kms later we reached our destination Santiago de Compostela, we achieved our goal, mission accomplished, done and dusted.
What a trip it has been, I have enjoyed every minute of it and could not have chosen a better companion than Lorna to share this wonderful experience with.
The crazy sights we have seen along the way, the sometimes rough weather conditions, the strange, amazing and often wonderful pilgrims we have met and befriended (Wendy, you had better invest in some blow up mattresses at a Laurieton for all my new besties who are going to pop in for a night), the beautiful, often spectacular scenery, the different cultures, animals, orchards, the sad sights (today we saw an entire family on the pathway who probably should not have been there), the laughs we have constantly shared, the unexpected luxurious accomodation we have had the pleasure of sharing, the companionship of each other, the strange meals, language challenges and certainly the hardship of the last 3 or 4 kilometres each day as we arrived at our destination.
I could recommend this particular Camino ahead of the Northern one I did previously, less commercialised, the first couple of days on the coast, we hardly met anyone let alone another peregrine (pilgrim). Once we got closer to Santiago, there were many more pilgrims than we expected to see who were doing shorter trips, but such interesting and fun people.
The comeraderie on the pathways each day was something I won’t forget, the local people and farmers who never seemed to get tired of greeting and wishing us pilgrims a safe and happy Camino, pointing us in the right direction, allowing us to use the WC, always providing shelter and a piece of homemade cake with our coffee.
The last 2.7 kms through town to finally arrive at the Cathedral were tough today but the jubilation, the sense of achievement, the excitement with so many other pilgrims trudging in, all dressed the same in hiking boots, gear and poles, all whooping with joy to have arrived.
Meeting up with pilgrims we had met, passed, had coffee with on and off for nine days was such fun. The sheer euphoria of the moment was unexpected. Such a wonderful experience.
We had just sat down for our recovery beer when the heavens opened and the threatened rain deluge arrived, so lucky as we remained dry all day and no wet gear to have to contend with.
Our hotel is thankfully after 25 kms today, dead centre of town and a beautiful ancient old hotel, more like a castle with massive old walls and gables.
After a quick clean up, we wandered around town in the rain and then did a bit of a pub crawl to enjoy the best tapas in each bar.
Santiago is a delightful town, so much atmosphere probably due to all the pilgrims arriving and milling around. The tapas are as delicious as I remember them and the little shops all quite interesting. It’s a very pretty place, outdoor areas to sit back and people watch and of course many historical churches and buildings.
Well, after 200 kms, I reckon time to get some shut eye after an amazing experience which I shall never forget.