I made it!
I have walked 775km (as per my certificate) from St Jean Pied de Port in France to the Cathedral of St James where I have seen the casket that holds the great man. It is an emotional day.
We started to walk at 6.30am as we only had just under 17km to go. We were met by Bodil our Danish friend who had stayed the night in O Pedrouzo. Our plan was to walk into Santiago together. Tania, Elizabeth (from Sydney), Bodil and myself had spent the better part of three weeks walking together and we wanted to finish together as well.
Everyone we met on the way was excited and the feeling of camaraderie was strong but we still had one climb to go and luckily it wasn’t too strenuous. The monument overlooking the distant town of Santiago was filled with groups hugging and congratulating friends they had met on the way.
By the time we walked through the old town and into the Plaza at the Cathedral we were all hugging and a few tears were shed. Photo’s were taken and memories captured. We managed to find accommodation and were back at the church for the 12 noon Pilgrim Mass.
We were told by our American school friends that they had sponsored the flight of the botafumeiro, the huge incense burner that swings over the mass (originally to fumigate the sweaty pilgrims). It was a truly marvellous experience and one I will never forget.
The emotions continued to flow as I got my Compostella. The man with the velvet voice asked, “And what reason did you do the Camino Michelle? ” I truthfully said that I was originally drawn to it and felt I had a strong calling to it but it became very spiritual as I went along. And then I cried….again.
I can’t explain why I am so moved about my Camino. It was at times very hard and extremely taxing on the body and mind but in the end, it is an enriching life experience that I hope you have experienced as well through this blog.