We arose fairly early and left Monte de Gozo just before 7am, as we wanted to reach the Cathedral Square, to stand there in the quiet before all the tourists arrived.
Here Lyne and Denis are posing by the marker that tells us we only have 4km to go!
The walk was not through the most thrilling of cityscapes intially
but it wasn't long before we had some more reunions. Here is Marianne from Denmark, who was heading for the bus station to go to Finisterre for the day.
We soon reached the older part of the city which looked fascinating with narrow winding streets etc. Finally we reached the Cathedral... only this last arch to go before we stand in the square in front of it....
And here I am posing.... my pilgrim walk completed!
At this moment I knew I had done something both very simple, and very hard. It was simple, just the rhythm of feet walking each day: but it had needed perseverance....
Soon after 9am we joined the fast-moving queue for a Compostela. I was in the queue just behind a French couple I had met at Monte de Gozo. They knew where Le Puy was, and how far I had walked....and when they reached the front of the queue, they pushed me in to go ahead of them. It was a very kind gesture of recognition.
Now I had some city jobs to do - unaccustomed as I was to cities! I needed to find a map so I could find the train station and book a rail ticket to Paris. I had decided that retracing my steps on a whole day traversing back through northern Spain would be a good way to unwind from the whole experience. (But the cheapest way I heard of to get back was obtained by some young ones who caught the train to Porto and got a cheap flight from there.)
I made it back for the lunchtime pilgrim Mass. Towards the end I was surprised to see Francis (on the left) who I had met earlier along the route, on the altar as a deacon. So there were more reunions to come, and we enjoyed having lunch together. It became an afternoon of joyful celebration!
Once we had arrived back at Monte de Gozo, (having caught the bus!) I went for a short walk to find the pilgrim statues I had heard about. And, yes, you could see that they pointed to the Cathedral spires, that were actually visible today! Then I discovered that my buddy Francis of Assisi had also come to Santiago as a pilgrim....
There were a couple of large groups of exuberant young pilgrims who had arrived for the night. I imagined we might not get such a good sleep this night! But it seemed like their leaders spoke to them about all the pilgrims staying who had walked a long way, and that they needed to show consideration... and they did.... soon after 10pm, all was quiet.
The Lord Taketh Away - Continental shifts are happening here. Harry Dog is gone. He was ill last week, and on our Saturday walk in the Promised Land he ran off and did not return...
2 months ago