31-07-2011 Pedrouzo (Arca O Pino) – Santiago de Compostela
The last day feels weird. I woke up at 04.15. I set the alarm at 04.00. Vibrate. I took a hot drink. Chocolate milk. Drank it slowly and got ready. 04.40 I started to walk. My just bought mini flashlight was working perfect.
After walking a while I heard people behind me. I wanted to walk straightforward but they went to the right. I thought let me check this move in the complete darkness to be sure. I saw it was the atlethic Italian named David and… Damian. Funny. I walked with Damian till Santiago de Santiago. Really nice.
The first time I saw a sign with Santiago on it I became emotional. Walking that far and long and suddenly you are seeing your goal. It was around 4 km to the cahedral. Less than an hour. Feet hurt but this gave me an energy boost. After walking a bit I got doubts about my decisions I tried to take during the camino. I said to myself… You decide in the cathedral in Santiago. That’s also how I promised it myself. Not taking decisions too fast.
We continue walking and saw more and more pilgrims. A lot of groups… without backpacks. During walking towards the cathedral we saw a German who knew Damian. He walked in the other direction. Sorry he said I have to take the bus… you only need to walk 5 minutes. We kept walking and.. indeed nearby. We had to walk straightforward and saw David. He said there is the pilgrimsoffice. Can be I said to Damian but I want to first do my ritual in the cathedral. Ok he said and he walked with me. We passed the cathedral and I saw an open door. That’s not the main entrance said Damian and we continue to walk. We took photos at the main entrance and walked again. I want to go inside I said. Damian wanted to go to the pilgrims office. We walked back and I saw again the open door. I said to Damian I will meet you later but I want first to go inside for feelings. Ok he said. I went inside and there were not a lot of people. The tombe of Apostle Jacobus was closed. I saw a priest go inside the tomb with someone and I followed them. Just walking behind them I went inside. I thought if I may not do this he will say something. He let me do my ritual in peace and quiet. When I came till complete calmness I felt peace with an answer for my question. Too personal to write down here but really beautiful. I knew what I had to do.
I went to the pilgrims office and I saw David and Damian. There were only 2 pilgrims ahead of me. After waiting a short time it was my turn. Fill in a form and I got my compostella. Nice but not important. It’s only for the last 100 km and the pilgrims pasport with it’s stamps has more value for me. Those are symbol for the places you have visited… but it’s beautiful.
When I asked if it’s true that you receive discounts with the compostela at travel agencies she said no, only during Holy years. That was a shock to me. When I asked which travel agencies she recommends she said.. it’s Sunday and all are closed! Try tourist information office. I walked to the tourist information office and they told me to take the bus. It was better I leave now she said. I walked a bit I saw….. Damian. We both had lost our orientation. Funny. We had to go both to the same direction. We went walking in opposite direction of the camino to arrive on the location where we both had to be. He towards his hostal and I towards the bus station.
I bought the tickers… combination of bus and train.. to get in Málaga….
Then I went back to the cathedral to enjoy the pilgrims Holy mass… beautiful. A dutch couple walked from the Netherlands to Santiago! Wow
After the Holy mass I walked outside. I said kind of goodbye to Santiago.
I looked around and noticed they showed Formula 1 a lot in restaurants. I found a nice restaurant with F1, outlet for charging my iPhone and… WiFi… and writing in my journal. Bus leaves at 21.30.
Formula 1 was really enjoyable. Nice performance of Alonso and nice result for Button. I chatted with dad via whatsapp during the F1. Also sent some photos via whatsapp. Was nice.
After that I went back to the cathedral to say farewell or maybe it’s a goodbye. I saw Bruno (Italian)! He just arrived. Blisters and pain! But continued to walk. He left as early as me. Respect. He had all toes black and big blisters. I didn’t saw Damian anymore. Now walking towards the bus station. It’s now 17.30.. too early but I can write into my journal and send some emails. Don’t need to do that later anymore. I had some emails. Nice ones with supporting words. I really would like a Johnny Walker with a nice cigar… I’m happy that tomorrow I don’t have to walk another 20 km.
It’s now 21.26. I’m sitting in the bus. Direction Madrid. First a man sat next to me but the tickers have seat numbers and he had mistaken the numbers. A nice blonde came sitting next to me. She speaks English. I thought those buses have a little table you can use. They don’t. Which is a pity. I was glad they had some place to put your things in. In my journal I had made a summary of the stages (I’m going to write a separate article about this). She is from Hungary and her name is Anett. She is a professional dancer. We did enjoy our chit chat during the bus trip. Because of this the bus trip was more comfortable. My legs hurting a lot because of sitting down.. I would rather walk now.. but this is going faster…
Everything what happened from now on… is private… Life is a way…. I learn everyday new things… The Camino de Santiago learnt me a lot. What is important in my life and what not… I recommend it everyone!
Photos and videos gallery :
Last 18 km before I arrive in Santiago
In the darkness and just 13 km to walk…
5 km to go and I meet Damian
Arrived in Santiago! 25 days and 784 km…
After the Pilgrims Holy mass… continue with my journey…
Nice memories of the stamps….
Farewall or goodbye of Santiago….
In the bus with Anett
I want to close with the words… I want to thank everyone who is in my life… some close and some far away… PTQI