We had quite a lot of rain in the night, but as dawn breaks there is just a slight drizzle, though there are dark clouds in the sky and it's quite likely to rain along the way.
Yesterday I hurt a toenail and my toe was quite swollen, I feared being unable to finish The Way. But luckily, this morning, my foot is better and the swelling has gone down. Hopefully I'll be able to arrive in Santiago on foot.
The first part of the path is flat and surrounded by high eucalyptus. When there is still 6'3 Km to get Santiago, we find a big stone carved with the walking stick, the pumpkin and the scallop shell, which announces the entrance to the town of Santiago. I feel a great emotion, our goal is almost achieved. Needless to say, it’s an unmissable opportunity for a photo.
Further ahead, we began to skirt around the airport. Then, by a paved road, we begin a long climb up the Monte del Gozo. It's so named because from there, pilgrims going to Santiago can see, in the distance and for the first time, the Cathedral where the remains of Saint James lie. The final destination of the pilgrimage.
When we reach Monte del Gozo, we can't see the
Cathedral. The day is so cloudy that it's not possible to get a view of the city. We stop here to take some photos and visit the small Capilla de San Marcos. From here, we start a descent until an industrial estate that we have to cross before getting to the city. The entrance to Santiago is long and boring, the last kilometres are endless, even more because of the weather - the rain has not stopped all the way.
It's 2:00pm when we finally get to Plaza del Obradoiro. There, we come across a lot of pilgrims that we have met in previous stages. At the entrance of the Cathedral, we join to a group of young Italians pilgrims and, in circle and holding hands, we pray a "Padre Nuestro" and we thanks for the experiences lived along The Way. Everybody is excited; getting to the Cathedral after a few days walking is a great experience.
We go into the Cathedral to give the famous hug to the Saint. We have to wait in for a long queue. It seems the majority of pilgrims have arrived in Santiago at the same time. After that, we go to the pilgrim office to get our Compostela. There, we also have to wait for almost one hour in the queue. I'm so exhausted, all I can think about is getting to the hotel and resting.
At 5:30pm we get to the hotel. Luckily, it is located within walking distance from the centre. After taking a shower and resting for a while, we get ready to go out and wander around the city. In our walk we run into other fellow travelers, who we go with to have some beers and tapas and celebrate the end of the pilgrimage.
Tomorrow morning we are going to the the Mass Pilgrim, then we'll go to the market to have good seafood and will spend the rest of the day sightseeing.
Go down - Bajar, descender
Skirt around - Bordear, rodear
Come across - encontrarse, cruzarse con...
Run into - Encontrarse con...