Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 41 (11/02) - O'Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela (20.5km)

Summary: 41 days on the "Way" with 40 days of walking and covered 814km (505 miles) and arrived Santiago after walking several hours in heavy rain.

We got a prompt start and it was still pretty dark on the pathway through the woods. We stopped for coffee and toast after 7km in San Payo and it had (not on the forecast!) started to drizzle when we left the cafe. Very shortly it turned into a steady rain that eased up a bit when we stopped for another rest in Vilamaior (at a nice small Hostal where should stay "next time") and then became a downpour shortly after we left that cafe! We walked in a downpour or steady rain for the rest of the journey. Fortunately, we "only" walked two hours or so in the rain. As we neared the old city, we ducked into a nice restaurant for a very nice 3 course lunch and enjoyed the seafood -- mussels, razor clams, fried cuttlefish. The "finish line" for the journey is the large square in front of the cathedral but was somewhat diminished as it was raining and it was, after all, our second time. The usual scene is of greeting other walkers who one recognizes and taking lots of photos. However, we did get a few pictures and it was still an emotional ending to a long journey. It's hard to fathom the emotions pilgrims of centuries past who arrived after a truly grueling journey, much longer than we undertook. We got our Compostelas (certificates of completion) at the pilgrim's office and checked in to the nearby Hostal Suso where we had stayed last year. It's a very nice small hotel run by 4 brothers. We've recommended it to several others that we knew so there were familiar faces staying there already. The rain eased up and we got additional Compostela certificates at the Franciscan church -- St. Francis completed his pilgrimage in 1214 - 800 years ago! We had tapas at a nice place with 9 other pilgrims that we had met along the way so that was fun.

On the trail and before the rains began!

A brief respite from the rain. Unfortunately, it eased up while we rested and then REALLY began to rain shortly after we left.

Arrival in Santiago. Very wet and a bit cold but definitely happy to be here!

The certificate from the Franciscan church commemorating our pilgrimage on the 800th anniversary of St. Francis's own pilgrimage to Santiago.

Another picture when the rain has stopped and we are clean, warm and dry!

Evening at a tapas bar with a group of pilgrims - we had met all of these multiple times at various places along the way. Three of us from the USA and the other 8 from Canada. Interestingly, we met many more Canadians along the trail - at least among our "age group".

Location:Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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