Day 28. San Marcos to Santiago de Compostela. And back. 10 miles.
It was misty in the morning, but not actually raining, when we set off to complete the pilgrimage. It's mainly downhill, some of it quite steep. The sun shone briefly to allow the photo above. After passing a couple of straggly villages, you cross a motorway, then a railway, and another motorway. The Camino is well signed. We stopped for a coffee, and got our Pilgrim Records stamped on the way in. The centre of town is mystifying. The cathedral cannot be seen from any distance because of the many tall buildings lining the jumble of small streets. Finally we arrived.
After suitable photos, we climbed up the steps into the cathedral, and walked forwards to admire the botufeiro i.e. the giant incense burner which hangs from the centre of the crossing and can be swung right across the cathedral hoisted by a team of about 6 men when in use.
Finding the Pilgrim Office proved tricky, again due to the maze of streets, with lack of direct sunlight making orientation impossible. Mike had warned us there would be a long queue.
In fact, we were an hour in the queue, so missed the Pilgrim Mass at 12. But we did get our certificates to say we'd completed our pilgrimages. You are asked to fill in details about yourself, how you travelled, where you started from and what was your motivation. It was multiple choice - religious, religious/spiritual or sport. The staff and volunteers at the office were very pleasant and welcoming.
Next we went in search of a few souvenirs and gifts, before treating ourselves to a Galician meal in a small restaurant called Conroy.
Then the slog back up to camp.
It's been dry all day so the washing is dry. We plan do spend a bit of time packing and sorting stuff for the journey home e.g. Cleaning the bike, rationalising the camping equipment. Hopefully we can get the tent down dry in the morning. But if not then we'll have to pack it we and hope we get a chance somewhere en route to let it dry out.
Totting up the distance covered, I make it 1337 miles, plus about 80 miles of toing and froing in Amboise and on the last stage where Brendan was walking and I had to juggle the bike and the car.