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Published: October 26th 2016
Colegiate church of Santa Maria de Iria
Front entrance-one of oldest churches in Galicia
27 September 2016, Tuesday, Padron to Santiago, day 28. Hotel Pazo de Altamira. 29 kilometers.
Fitbit: 38,998 steps, 17.04 miles, 137 floors/stairs
Our hotel, Pazo de Lestrove, is part of the network of Pousadas de Camino. This was a lovely stone structure with nice sitting rooms off of each bend in the hall way. This 16th century former mansion of the archbishops of Santiago is a restoration that is magnificently done.
We left hotel about 0838 and walked back through town to the Igrexa de Santiago to join the Camino track. We have visited the church with the stone, allegedly where the disciples' of St James tied the boat bringing his body back to Iberia. We had also taken the walk up the steps to the statue and cross featured on the cover of Brierley's Camino Portugues guide book. While it added a couple of kilometers more to yesterday's walk we were all glad we made the effort. It is believed that Saint James, preached the good news about Christ and baptized converts here.
Karen stopped to walk around the collegiate Church of Santa Maria de Iria Flavia, with its lovely cemetery. The original church was ransacked
by the Arab ruler, Almanzor in 997. Meanwhile I talked with a young lady from Madrid walking with her retired parents. They and another couple had walked to Vilanova from Pontevedra and taken a boat to Padron a reenactment of the last voyage of Saint James before his body was taken to what is now Santiago. This is an alternative route we had not considered.
Just beyond the A Escravitude train station we visited a church, Nosa Senora da Escravitude, for a stamp. This name comes from a story of a sick pilgrim, who in 1772, drank the water from the springs and prayed to the Virgin Mary to cure his aliment. She did as three days later he was well. The name Escravitude in Galician means freed from slavery. The fountain is now right at the front of the church which was built to commemorate this miracle. We had coffee across the street at a cafe Casa Eduardo; it was a greasy spoon with the best churros.
We followed routes along secondary streets and woodlands; some, a zigzag slalom course through little farm villages with chickens, dogs, cats and friendly people.
In Parade de Francos we
stopped at restaurant Carboeiro for lunch and were over run by the 'girls' from Florida, Switzerland and Australia. See photo. A very nice patio location. Later we learned that the proprietor was a well know chef and the place was an outstanding location for a stop.
From here we climbed, reaching the penultimate high point of the day. The highest elevation was at a sports complex-bus station and we stop to have Magnum ice cream bars. And now we had to find our way through the alternative routes that kept adding kilometers to the cathedral in Santiago. But just after 5 pm we made our triumphant arrival at the cathedral square.
This was a different arrival from last year. Last year there were just the two of us; this year we had the joy of sharing the elation of arrival with dear friends. Every day from Porto there was the question of whether Moira's feet would cooperate. Also, there was the uncertainty as to whether Karen would find a Magnum bar to spur her on a few more kilometers when what she really wanted was to stretch out on a park bench. Daily we wondered if Jo could
put up another day with our dilly-dallying! And Julian and Harlan. They were our 'rocks' - always there for a word of encouragement, willingness to carry an extra backpack or to check out the latest blister, scratch or bite. We salute these two pilgrims!
At the Praza do Obradoiro, at the west facing facade of the Catherdral, we take photos, have many hugs, shed tears and then proceed up a hill to our hotel. We are thankful for our Camino and willing to wait for the lessons we have learned from the experience to slowly sink in!
Tot: 2.387s; Tpl: 0.099s; cc: 14; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0296s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb