Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 43 (10/31) Arca O Pino to Santiago (20km)

Perhaps our last night's stay in an albergue for this trip and not too bad. The "free" breakfast was very minimal and we went out again pre-sunrise. Not as many pilgrims on the trail as we expected and the walk through the forest was very quiet. We stopped and had a breakfast, walked more and had coffee and were surprised that the last half of the walk went soooo slowly. Finally reached the outskirts of Santiago and it was a pretty long walk on sidewalks before we reached the older part of town and finally got our first glimpse of the cathedral. We stopped for a really nice lunch at "la flor" -- ravioli, wonderful rich and creamy risotto and a bottle of white wine. Then on to enter the square in front of the cathedral and that was a very emotional ending to our long journey -- 500 miles and 43 days from when we started in St. Jean Pied de Port. We ran into other pilgrims who we had not seen recently, stood in line at the pilgrims' office to get our certificates and then settled in to our rooms at Hotel Suso that was just down the street and a short walk from the cathedral. We went back to the cathedral and did pilgrim things, toured a nearby pilgrim museum with a neat model of Santiago in the 13th century and then found a wine bar.
They were very nice and we had glasses of nice local white and red wines -- 2 different types of each for comparison. A nearby street was lined with restaurants so we wandered up and down and then found a place for a light dinner. We were pleasantly surprised to see more familiar pilgrims and everyone was so pleased to see each other and to share the feeling of accomplishment.

We decided to stay two nights in Santiago and that Santiago is a fitting end to our walking -- and will take a bus to the ocean and Finisterra. Our bodies are tired but otherwise in good condition so we are thankful for that!

Typical paths for first half of the day - later was sidewalks and city so no pictures of that were taken.

"la flor" - delightful lunch spot just before our destination. Note the "halloween" decorations. Tomorrow is November 1st (all saints day) and we are curious how they celebrate.

Arrival at the square in front of the cathedral. Definitely an emotional moment!

Happy fellow pilgrims!

No comments:

Post a Comment