Monday, November 15, 2010
Day 34: Santiago de Compostela (Thur 28th Oct)
I went to the 12noon Mass for Pilgrims at the Cathedral - it was for me strangely emotional - despite the fact that I am not Catholic and it was spoken in Spanish. It was packed to the rafters and I chose to stand as sitting at the moment wasn't really an option, especially on hard wooden seats. During mass I notice 2 girls (Ann and Caroline) on the opposite side of the Cathedral (standing as I was) and was happy to see them and went in search of them after the service. I find them sitting on the stone wall outside the entrance to where they were standing and we were all very pleased to see each other and decide to go into the square in the sun for coffee (it is now 1.30pm). Ann decided on wine - oh what the heck lets all have a wine (Caroline is Irish, so needed no further encouragement) hehe. We have one and decide to move further up to another bar that was still in the sun and find 4 or 5 others that we had met so ended up with a large group of us.....many more wines later I decided I needed to go and book for the rooftop tour of the Cathedral and 7pm was the only spot left so I take it. Then went in search of tshirts and other mini souvenirs and to take photos and generally wander. I take a small road-train tour but very bumpy on the cobblestones and wished I hadn't....;-/ but was still an interesting journey and in english.
A few of us had made arrangements to meet for dinner and the place at around 8pm'ish.
I arrive at the Cathedral at 7pm for the rooftop tour and to my absolute joy and surprise find Yolette and her sister Yvonne, who I'd met much earlier in the journey and walked many days on and off with them. They had returned from Finisterre that day - they had been hoping they would find me as they had heard along the "Camino grapevine" that I'd arrived in Santiago. Was amazing and wonderful. The rooftop tour was incredible but difficult to photograph what exactly I could see - I was in awe!
At 8.30pm Yo & Yvonne join me and we go find the others for dinner. It was a nice way to end my journey and everyone swaps contacts - some people I will remain friends with for my lifetime.
The Camino has settled into my soul and I feel changed and alive with fresh ideas and motivations beyond what I'd imagined.
I am not looking forward to my flight back to London as sitting is painful for my lower back and my knee - but it reminds me constantly of my incredible journey so I smile with the pain ;-)
I will do another Camino.....in the not too distant future - the Camino is in my blood!
Posted by Jacqueline Rowe at 9:01 AM