Day 13- Arzúa to Santiago de Compostella – 39km
Unbelievably, we have arrived in Santiago. When we set out this morning, we didn’t have a destination in mind. We just thought we’d see how far we got down the path, then start out in the morning with just a gentle walk into the city. However, the day was the best weather we had had since starting the Norte. So we kept going.
Leaving Arzúa pre-dawn, it was a delight to walk with a few pilgrims leading the way. We passed a few and a few passed us, and each time a greeting was exchanged. There was a buzz in the air. Everyone commented on the blue sky and absolutely no rain on the horizon. There was certainly some muddy paths to negotiate and even flooded gutters to jump across but overall it was a joy to stroll through the Galician countryside.
We stopped for lunch at the cafe in Amenal (at the 22km mark)- Tania, Elizabeth and I stayed in the Hotel here two years ago. Michael and I had a great conversation with a few Americans and Germans who had walked together for the last few weeks. They had decided to stop in each bar they came to and celebrate the ending of their Camino. They were hoping to get to Monte de Gozo (which is just 4.5km from Santiago) but I’m dubious if they made it that far as they were already more than a little tipsy when we saw them. We did stop into this last Albergue before Santiago, but as it is described as “an unfortunate cross between an army barracks and a summer camp”, the pull of the downhill run into Santiago was far too great a calling for us. We had just enough energy in our legs to get ourselves “across the line” at the Praza do Obradoiro in front of the Cathedral.
After a quick photo, we made our way around to the Official Camino Office to collect our well deserved Compostella. Well the place it use to be is now closed up and a sign indicated that it had moved. Excellent. After finding our accommodation, showering and changing into people who just walk funny, we stumbled over to the new Office and received our Compostella.
We both feel so lucky to have done this spectacular, sometimes hard, and truly amazing walk together. It is an achievement beyond parenthood or the stability of marriage that is quantifiably ours. We did it together. And we have a certificate to prove it.