A Travellerspoint blog

Camino de Santiago

Last Day: Santiago De Compostela

It is May 31 as I start this note. If I do not finish tonight I'll finish tomorrow in Paris. Perhaps, after some time passes I may come back to add some closing thoughts.

First, I am surprised I did the the blog -- but now happy I did. I look forward to viewing it in a few days.

Honestly, I don't remember where I ended on the last entry and now too lazy to go check. Sorry if there are repeats.

Later in the afternoon of 29th(Friday) I sat in the main square with the twins from Thunder Bay. It was different! There was a calmness about them I had not seen before -- wonderful young ladies but buzz outs. So excitable - racing minds and thoughts. If you have been around twins - you know - times two. That afternoon they were so calm and deliberate in their conversation -- they were now young women. I believe they grew immensely on this journey. I'm proud and happy for them (and mom and dad). Jessica and Katrina -- it was a pleasure meeting and getting to know you.

More closure over past couple of days: Sylvie and her mom Clarissa from Switzerland, Klaus from Cambridge, Ontario, Tony from Belfast, Barry and Mary Ellen from Hamilton, and finally today Vicki from Hungary arrives. Vicki walked every km -- so proud of her. She is the first pilgrim we met leaving St Jean Pied de Port on May 3. We enjoyed a couple of celebratory wines with Vicki today. It was an important closure for all of us.

Matt, Jackie, Jean Marie and the Irish troop -- so special. Thank you or your friendship.

Vicki tells me my Norwegian friend Oiven is enroute and will arrive tomorrow. She will give him a hug for me. A number of pilgrims will have dinner on June 2nd --- those starting on May 3rd. Take a picture for us Vicki. Thank you kindly.

There are a few others I will wonder how they made out: Stephan , Petra, Eva, and a tall Austrian whose name escapes me at the moment.

Oh - the Camino spirit -- Vicki tells us about a Dutchman, Martin, who rescued some of her equipment days ago. It is the Martin I met on Friday 29rh.

It is over! As I took a last loop around the old city tonight it felt different, the excitement is over. I want to go home.

Hasta Luego


Posted by al poole 13:31 Comments (1)

Camino de santiago

May 30 ....pictures of dinner, asparagus with butter/garlic/mustard sauce; cod, shrimp and small clam; delicious. My amigos passed and went.for kabob/donate.

Posted by al poole 03:26 Comments (0)

Camino de santiago

Day 27 Lavacolla to Santiago

Day 27: Lavacolla to Santiago

I know you want ask but are shy....what's it like to sleep with Hans. You will have to ask Lo. Remember. ..I had my sleeping bag. I made a mattress out of blankets. Turns out I made a good choice as beds only had box spring so boys did not sleep well.

We start the final leg at 7:15. It is foggy and windy ... stop to put my wind breaker on. We arrive Santiago city limits at 08:30 and reach the cathedral square at 09:30. It felt good to reach the square...walking is done. Beyond that somewhat anti climatic.

The Thunder Bay twins are in the square. ..they are feeling pretty good about finishing the trip.

We proceed to Pilgrim office for official paperwork....done!

Some of the Pilgrims are very emotional once they have the certificate in hand; lots of tears and then cheers from everyone else in the line up. You can feel the satisfaction!

We find a hostel close by and book in for 3 nights.

Hans and Marty head for the Pilgrim mass at 11:30. I grab a coffee near the Pilgrims office to see if any familiar faces show up. While I watch I'm joined by a group of young folks who befriended on the Camino: Martin from Holland; Julie from Vancouver but now living and working in London, England, Jo ...young lady from Ireland; Jason from Florida and Ray from London, England. We talk about how quickly you connect with people on the Camino and how excited you get to see them again. It is quite amazing!

I see Alice from Nevada in line...she made it. She will hike to Finnestere before going home. Turns out she does some serious hiking in the States. I see Marion from London and Ray from North Carolina.

We will veg on Saturday and think about going to Finnestere on Sunday.

The old city of Santiago looks interesting. We will explore and check it out.



Posted by al poole 02:55 Comments (1)

Camino de santiago

Day 26: Salceda to Lavacola;

First, after sending my blog yesterday we went to the restaurante next door .... guess who was there? Yes, the Thunder Bay twins Katriina and Jessica. Hugs, laughs and tears. Similar to us they walked 2 days on Meseta . ..then bus/train to Leon. They had walked 40 km already and had another 6 to 8 km to find a bed. A kind French gentleman was walking with them. We were happy to know they were safe. Dad's and their little girls! A young CDN girl missing since early April is still missing....so so sad. I don't think there is a happy ending.

Today's walk started out looking like we would follow the highway all day. Fortunately a good half was a quiet trail through gum tree forests.we took longer breaks today ... slow learners. At one spot we met a couple from Calgary ... he grew up in Trophy and taught at RDC early 90s....just retired from Mount Royal. Don was celebrating 73 birthday. I forget his wife's name ... very chatty.

At another stop we visited with a group of ladies from Toronto area doing Camino Light and total 11 days. Also, a lady from Brisbane who agreed Kingscliff area is tops.

I went to club next door to do blog as there is more sun. No WiFi! There was a reason I went there, met an English couple Don and Avril ...retired and sailing coast of Spain. They were excited to chat with someone speaking English. They were going to pick up their daughter and grandson who were flying in to visit for 6 days. They took my picture ...and said I would be included in their blog. I'll check it out in a few days.

Tonight we are at a hostel ...a double bed and single and our own bathroom for 45 euros. I get to sleep with Hans. I'm so happy I brought my sleeping bag.

One more morning to load back pack! So happy to reach that milestone.

A question I must research; why did they bring gum trees to Spain (eucalypsus )?

The end is in reach ....


PS: a tractor just pulled up next door pulling small wagon with hay type material ... guy runs in for quick beer/coffee and leaves in about 15 minutes.
Forgot....the picture of guy with blue garbage bag ....cleaning as he goes. He is French and wants the trail to be as clean as it is in France. Yesterday, he received standing ovation from 30+ pilgrims at a cafe. I gave him 10 euros and owner gave him a coke. Impressive!

Posted by al poole 07:04 Comments (1)

Camino de santiago

Pictures: roses seem to grow every where ... it is only end of May.

Posted by al poole 06:10 Comments (0)

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