So that’s it. The pilgrimage is over. Our backpacks sit lonely on the floor of our hotel room, walking sticks leaning forlornly in the corner. No more settling our packs our back, clipping the straps, grabbing our sticks and hitting the track.
I miss sitting in bed in the evening chatting with Liz about the next day, how far we might trek,where we will stay. I miss packing my backpack with the blister supplies on top for easy access, I even miss my afternoon ritual, easing off my boots and socks and inspecting my poor battered feet for the day’s damage. Actually, that’s getting a bit carried away, I don’t miss that at all!
Santiago de Compostela is a maze of windy streets with stairs and hills around every corner.
My blisters are healing, but my legs are still very sore, and every step is an effort. But I love exploring this beautiful city, especially the markets. Oh how I wish I had a kitchen and a week to cook all the gorgeous fresh produce. I did spend a delicious half hour with a young stall holder who despite his lack of English and my lack of Spanish managed to convey to me his passion for all things pork. I happily munched on the selection of hams before choosing one to take to a Spanish friend in London who misses this taste of her homeland.
Liz and I spent a day doing our own thing and despite the fact that there are probably a hundred hoodies of various designs and sayings, we both managed to come home with the exact same model.
I would dearly loved to have taken the bus to Finisterre on the coast, the true end of the Camino, to see the 0km sign. But it was a 12 hour day, 6 of them on the bus, so I reluctantly decided against that. Liz had already decided that a trip to McDonalds was more to her liking, so one of us was happy.
Each day I was drawn to the Plaza Obradoiro in front of the cathedral to watch the pilgrims arriving, the tears, the laughter, greeting friends who had become their Camino family.The cathedral is magnificent and for many pilgrims the spiritual culmination of their Camino, for me the spirit of the Way of St James was out there in the plaza.