Saturday, April 20, 2019
Today we walked from Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela, another “short” day at 16.7 km or 10.4 miles. Also a special treat to weary bodies, our trek was along bucolic country roads, there were very few big hills, and no other peregrinos”! We have heard that the Francés route is extremely busy the last kilometers into Santiago.
It was a brisk 51 degrees yet I wore my shorts in anticipation of a toasty, sun filled afternoon. I walked with Pedro from Portugal most of the morning, making time fly by, as he is a wealth of information about the Camino – and otherwise. He has become part of our tribe to the extent that Michelle counts out thirteen when checking to see if we are all accounted for! We had one last stop for café con leche and pilgrim stamps before descending into our destination city. I didn’t think that I would get emotional now that this culmination experience is familiar to me, yet I was once again overcome with tears of joy and thanks and had to blink back tears. It is so difficult to put this life changing event into words. I have tried with my blogs (and I apologize this time around as I was less than creative having few stolen moments and energy to feel any literary flow). Really though, it’s a far cry from the pulsating LIFE that JUST IS walking, persevering, getting closer to the goal day by day while enjoying the moments along the way – and then to be standing in front of that magnificent cathedral!!! The cathedral plaza was packed with pilgrims and tourists!! As we took our sweet time enroute, we cut it a little too close to attend pilgrims mass at noon – especially since the actual mass was being held at a different church a few blocks away and we are not able to take our backpacks in. So we decided to just head over to our Albergue, Roots and Boots. We have stayed at this place each time after the “Learn and Explore” trips and it is at welcome oasis with wonderful proprietors, Felipe and Kristina who do our laundry (for a small fee) and provide a menu of breakfast items, sandwiches and other snacks as well as beer and wine.
It is a historic and classic building with stone walls, a lovely garden and a separate kitchen and dining area in the yard. After all of our walking however, most of us grumbled about the stairs to our second floor rooms!!
We teamed up with grocery lists for dinner food and then hit the huge fishermen/farmers market in town to prepare for our evening feast. And feast we did! Brian and Sigi made three incredible paella’s of saffron, chicken and seafood. We also had s huge salad, plenty of “pan” (bread), of course, and delicious flan made with love by Laura!
We saw Luis and Rosa from Portugal in town and met their son, embracing and congratulating each other with Big smiles! However we did not see any of our other Camino family. I was hoping to at least see Damien but luck would not have it…
And today was also a monumental day for me, as my youngest and only, amazing and precious son turned 30! He was actually enjoying the “Full Moon Festival” in Thailand as I was finishing Camino Number Four in Santiago de Compostela. We both had the same full moon overhead and epic journeys underfoot!!!
There was a lot of action in town given it was the evening before Easter. Most of us hit the sack early again though – our bodies need rest!!!