Brea to Santiago

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October 9th 2016
Published: October 22nd 2017
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Geo: 42.8756, -8.5444

Slept in until 7:45 and after a brief breakfast of yogurt and fruit at The Way, we were on the Camino for our last 25 kilometers. We left at the same time as the only other guest, Roger, from Switzerland.

Roger had already hiked 1200 kilometers from central France and planned to hike onto Finisterre. Finisterre is on the Spanish coast about a 100 kilometers beyond Santiago.

First coffee and second breakfast was in Amenal, about 10 kilometers. The amazing thing was that Wendy was there. This is a woman who we hiked/matched up with during our first four days and had not seen since.

We continued in the shade of chestnut and eucalyptus groves and a steady incline to Lavacolla. Here we had a coffee and banana and bumped into Lisa & Mark. The cool story of this town is that back in the Middle Ages, the pilgrims would bath here before their entry into Santiago. Translated, Lavacolla means bathing your private parts! Unlike 500 years ago, we were able to shower everyday.

Monte de Gozo was our last slowdown and last climb. From here there is an impressive sculpture and views of Santiago, five kilometers below. Plus, it has a 500 bed albergue! Lots of pilgrims like to stay here and then hike into Santiago at sunrise and catch the noon mass at the Cathedral.

After a long hike through urban landscape, we finally arrived at the Cathedral. Lots of emotions going on. Guided by a Frenchman, we went to the office where we would have our credentials certified that we had completed the 100 kilometer minimum! Standing in line, we met four young Spaniards who had walked about 200 kms. When we told them we had walked fromSt. Jean in 32 days, they were in awe and gave us lots of kudos! Made us proud! After waiting in line about an hour, we got our compostelas (in Latin) and returned to the main cathedral square for pictures. Again, we were given high praise for our accomplishment.

We stopped in at the old monastery which now serves as a luxury hotel to see if they had any cancellations, but were told they were sold out all week. We got a map and were shown how to get to Hotel Horreo.

It is a very nice 2 star hotel about a 10 minute walk from the Cathedral. With a double bed and private patio, we felt like we were in a 4 star.

After a nice FaceTime with Bligh, we headed out to sightsee. We settled on a plaza with lots of sidewalk tables for a glass of wine and watched all the pilgrims, tourists and locals stroll by. After a dinner of tapas and a salad, we retired to our penthouse, still trying to comprehend what we had accomplished!

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