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Published: December 3rd 2017
P1000718Saturday, November 25th to Picaraña, Pension HK, 26.5 kms
Frost in the morning
. A day much like yesterday, but without the rain. We saw more pilgrims today and passed and were passed by some we met yesterday. The Dutch/Spanish couple we met yesterday we again saw at our “second breakfast” and again tonight, as they are staying at the same place. We are staying well past Padron – the usual last stage before Santiago – to give us a head start for tomorrow, leaving us with somewhere between 14 and 17 kms. to Santiago, depending on who you read, plus a good sized hill we hear. We figured better a long day today than tomorrow. A cold, windy, but good day, our longest day. Sunday, November 26th to Santiago, Pension Libredon, 17.2 kms
. We’re here. We made it to Santiago. We started early – 8:15 and 37 degrees. Breakfast wasn’t served until 9:00 (Sunday) so we walked down the highway instead of the Camino looking for some coffee and breakfast. All we could find was a gas station and had puny and overpriced cups of coffee out of a machine. We soldiered on through the cold and wind and came upon a huge gathering
of people – an antique car rally. The café nearby was packed, but we were willing to wait and who was there but Carolus and Flor. We spent way too much time there talking with them and exchanging emails. The closer we got to Santiago the more confusing the route got, with several alternate ways to reach the Cathedral. I really slowed down – my feet and leg were hurting, and it was already 4:00 when we got there. It was a different experience walking into Santiago and the Cathedral this time. It wasn’t as emotional for me. We saw only 1 other pilgrim in the square in front of the Cathedral, a man from Korea we had last seen north of Lisbon. After checking into our pension, we went to Mass at 6:00 – it was supposed to be a Pilgrim Mass, but no mention of pilgrims was made. There were probably no more than 300 people there, not many of them pilgrims, as opposed to last year when it was packed and many were standing and sitting in the aisles. I guess it’s the time of year. We’re at a nice pension in the old town not too
Another one of those choices, coming into Santiago
far from the Cathedral. It’s a really small room, but quiet, and it has everything we need for 2 nights. They have a reception area with free teas, cookies and apples and a pretty little flowered square right in front. Monday, November 27th, still in Santiago
. We had breakfast and then went to the Pilgrim’s Office to receive our Compostela certifying that we had completed our Camino and had walked at least the final 100 kms. There were 3 people in front of us – so different form last year when the line was out the door. We went to the 12:00 Mass Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral, this one welcoming the pilgrims. It seemed to be a children’s Mass, with children from a local school I think. They had a sweet choir, accompanied by a guitar and flute – no grand organ today. A man named Andrew we’ve seen on and off from Poland was there, and we talked with him after Mass. He’s walked 22 Caminos! I think this will be my last one, but that’s what I said last year. The rest of the day I spent trying to figure out our route from here to
We made it!
Madrid, to Lourdes and to Paris (from where we fly home). Charlie went to drop off our clothes to be washed and figure how to add money on our Portuguese cell number so we can find out what’s happened to the package of clothes we sent to Santiago from Lisbon (they seem to be lost.). After researching for hours we had to drop Lourdes. There’s no direct way there without several bus and/or train changes with long layovers. Then it took a while to find an apartment in Madrid with a washing machine. Our “vacation” is costing us a fortune with our last minute change of plans – no advanced train ticket deals. Tomorrow we spend half the day on a train to Madrid. I haven’t planned this post-Camino time very well, and it’s colder than I expected. Brrrr.
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