Hola, dear friends. I walked into Santiago today after an early morning start from Padrón. But the Camino isn’t over. Thank you for walking with me and I hope you will continue to share my journey as I process this ancient, yet modern pilgrimage.
I walked in with two pilgrim friends, but as you can see, we weren’t alone.
Yesterday was an ending and a beginning.
Less than 5 Kms to Santiago.
In 2016 I walked into Santiago from the Camino Francés on the other side of the city, with amazing pilgrim friends from South Africa Today was also spectacular in so many ways: warm, dry, green, a shared journey with Pilgrims I’ve met along the Way, plus 50 High School students and their leaders from Madrid. If they are the future, we are lucky: polite, enthusiastic, supportive of each other, considerate of other walkers.
We all, those on the trail and those following along, are on a journey. You walked along every step. Gracias.
This was part of the Camino that I envisioned last summer, but didn’t work out. Then I planned for September 2018 and another opportunity changed that date.
So here I am, June 2018, in Santiago. With new pilgrim amigos, and alone, and with you, dear friends.
I admit I change my plans often. I am learning to use a pencil instead of a pen.
Soon I’ll be in the plaza meeting my friend Marylee, who is a short walk away from completing the entire Camino Francés.
I had planned to walk from Padrón to Santiago in half stages with a reservation for an Albergue close to Santiago. I would walk into the city in the morning and be in the square when she arrives.
But. . . true to everything about this Camino, that changed and I’m a day earlier.
Yesterday began for me about 2:30 a.m. when I was awakened from a sound sleep by a noisy pilgrim who had returned from celebrating in the square near our Albergue. Lights on and off, shuffling, searching and all the before sleep rituals. Okay, I covered my head with the comfy pillow in my comfy bottom bunk, way less than two feet from his side. Then quiet for 10 minutes. Then snoring. Not the relatively quiet snoring of deep sleep, but the loud kind that seems to stop for a few seconds and begin again louder, on and off that goes on for hours. I’ll refrain from a diagnosis, but that was the end of my sleep.
At 4:30 a.m. I gathered my gear and went into the lobby area. I prepared to leave and at 5:45 a.m. walked out the door, through Padrón with the sunrise, the birds chirping and hoping I was not missing an arrow. Let’s not comment on the wisdom of that exit.
But, here I am to tell you that day became the day that my too heavy backpack and I slow-walked into Santiago, meeting up with two pilgrim friends, JD from France and Joann from Poland. Sometimes you just have to take that first step.
The Cathedral looked so different with most of the protective blue netting removed during this phase of restoration.
We stood in the line at the Pilgrim Office and collected our Compostelas for completing a Camino and made plans to meet for dinner. In the meantime I had to have accommodations because I was a day early.
And of course I did find a lovely room and am writing this from a pensión above an ice cream shop, A Casa do Peregrino. Today I’ll move to my reserved Hospidería de San Martín Pinario, in one of the basic, private pilgrim rooms, where I stayed in 2016 and 2017.
Then I hope we will be off to The End of the World. Hope to see you in Finisterre.
Ultreia. Thank you for walking with me. Irene