It’s intetesting that Santiago is getting to feel like “home base” but, for the third time in a year, I have entered into the city feeling tired and worn out, and realized that this is a place of rest and completion. Today was a long day, with a total walk of close to 28 kms, yet a good walk over good trail and the encouragement of knowing that this was the last day of hard walking for some time. Santiago was the place of completion, the end of the trail, the culmination of trials and challenges.
After finding our room for the next two nights, we went to the Pilgrim Office and were awarded our Compostellas for completing the Camino Portuguese. Given the challenges that I confronted over the past few weeks, this was a particularly satisfying accomplishment. And yet, the realization that it was completed means that I need to refocus now on the things that sre waiting for me at home. Now that I have my email back, I have been able to touch base with different people in my life and get a sense of what is happening.
Next day: Spent a good day in Santiago, after a bad night’s sleep with the people in the room above making noise until 2:30 when my ear plugs began to work. Went to the pilgrims’ mass in the cathedral at noon and saw the botafumeiro from a front pew seat. Took an archaeological tour of the cathedral, which brought us into two places under the floor of the cathedral where we saw the remains of a Roman house from the third century and numerous remains from the tenth century when the church was a small chapel in a walled town. Quite interesting. Tomorrow we are off to Madrid by train.