October 30, 2018
10.8 km (Phone: 16km / 9.9 miles)
It drizzled rain the whole way in, but I made it! I walked into Santiago sometime after 1:00. The way was marked very well until I got in the historic center. I was looking down at the street just realizing that I had lost the shells when someone hugged me from behind. It was Melody! By getting a little lost I had walked right by the laundromat where she was washing clothes. That was the best way to be greeted coming into the city.
Melody cautioned me that I might have trouble getting into the square with my backpack as the King of Spain was visiting the morning. So after making plans to meet up for dinner, I went to my hotel first and checked in. After leaving my pack I walked to the square to get “the” picture of me with the cathedral behind me. Then I went to the Pilgrim Office to get the paperwork – the Compostela – the official document for completion and a distance certificate showing where I started, how far it was, and the dates I walked.
I’ve completed the Camino Frances walking all but four parts: one in a taxi when I was sick, a bus into the last part of Burgos, a bus into Leon, and on horse up the mountain to O’Cebreiro. I carried my backpack every step except for four days.
I have three days to hang out in Santiago where I hope to see more friends, explore the Cathedral, and rest. My Camino is over here even though many people walk on to Finisterre and Muxia on the coast. I think it will take a long time for the lessons of the Camino to fully sink in, but I know I am a stronger person now physically and mentally. I know to go at my own pace and to take care of myself first before I can help others. I had time to listen to, and sort out, the different sound tracks that play on repeat in my mind. The negative ones are still there, but I am better at turning them down and even off at times. I hope to continue to spend more time outside just enjoying what I am walking by, and will always treasure the friendships I made along the Way.
(There were more pilgrims on the route the closer in to Santiago.)
(Park on the outskirts.)
(I hung up my poles – at least for awhile.)
(I loved my room but the best part . . . )